The Ekiti State Government would soon promulgate a law banning places of worship from compelling prospective couples to go for HIV/AIDS test before conducting marriages.
The law would also make it an offence to reveal results of such test to other parties before the tested person knows his or her status.
The Project Manager of the State Action Committee on AIDS, Dr. Charles Doherty, made this known in Ado Ekiti on Thursday during the commemoration of year 2014 Worlds Aids Day and awareness programme with the theme: “Stigma ends with me”.
Doherty said a bill to that effect was already before the state House of Assembly and may soon be passed into law.
“The bill is already in the state House of Assembly to be passed into law. It proposes to ban places of worship from demanding HIV test from prospective couples.
“It is illegal for any individual or organization, especially religious bodies, to mandate people to go for HIV/AIDs screening exercise. The results should be given to the individual concerned. A married couple should be treated individually”.
Doherty urged people not to be scared of going for HIV/AIDS screening as drugs were available for the treatment.
Also speaking at the occasion, wife of the Ekiti State Governor, Mrs. Feyisetan Fayose, who led the awareness walk, advocated for increased support for AIDS patients.
She said, “Ekiti State government is not unmindful of the barriers to the treatment and prevention of the disease some of which include stigmatisation, lack of proper medication and support for awareness creation, among others.
“The state has been supporting the various agencies attending to cases of AIDS/HIV and will continue to do so”, she added.