People are forced to HIV testing in public hospitals.

Radio Islam has established that people are forced to go for HIV testing to access health services in public hospitals in Blantyre.

In an interview with some of the out-patients at Ndirande, Bangwe, Limbe clinics and Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, they confirmed that are asked to go for the test before they get medical attention.

Responding to the issue healthy rights activists in the country said it is a violation of human rights.

Speaking in an interview with Radio Islam, Executive director of Malawi Healthy Equity Network, George Jobe said HIV test should be done on a voluntary basis.

“Ministry of health should stop the compulsory HIV testing,” said Jobe

Speaking in a separate interview, chairperson of parliamentary health committee Juliana Lunguzi said it is against world health organization’s guidelines to force people to have their HIV test.

“Malawi has done a lot of HIV/AIDS awareness therefore is is improper to force people to have HIV test,” Lunguzi said

According to one of the health personnel at Blantyre DHO who opted for anonymity said compulsory testing has been happening for some time.

In his remarks director of health services in Blantyre district, Gift Kawalazila said they are conducting the program known as provider initiated HIV testing and counseling which is not mandatory.

“The test is one of government’s deliberate interventions to provide quality health care to Malawians and have the largest population that knows it HIV status,” Kawalazila said.

He said it is unfortunate that some people deliberately choose to misunderstand health personnel in public hospitals.

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