23 Oct 2006

Pacific Aids foundation says compulsory HIV testing will do further damage

11:30 am on 23 October 2006

The Pacific Islands AIDS Foundation, or PIAF, says compulsory HIV testing will only do further damage and lead people to a false sense of security.

This follows the Premier of Niue's recent announcement that compulsory testing is now mandated for all visitors staying longer than two months in the country.

Responding to the mandate, PIAF is adamant that other solutions need to be found in order to protect communities and countries.

The CEO of PIAF, Maire Bopp-Allport, says compulsory testing at borders is evil and an illusion of effectiveness in fighting HIV and AIDS.

She says compulsory testing for HIV at borders is segregation, and that instead of building a caring and supportive society for people living with HIV/AIDS, it increases fear by preventing HIV positive people from living within and sharing in a community.

She adds that the cost for testing and administering HIV tests will be a great burden for Niue and it will not even guarantee an accurate test result due to the waiting period between the point of infection and up to 3 months.