The Roman Catholic Church in Goa has supported HIV test before marriage saying such a step would promote a healthy society. //
'Respecting the conscience and the freedom that every person has, the Church in Goa advocates the principle of informed consent and voluntary testing with counselling support, while it rejects any form of unethical testing practices that offend the dignity of the concerned individuals,' a statement issued by Council for Social Justice and Peace, Archidiocese of Goa and Daman said.
The state government is planning to make HIV test mandatory before marriage by passing a special legislation, which is likely to figure in the ensuing state assembly session.
In view of the proposed legislation, the Church in Goa consulted a number of individuals working with different organizations as well as experts in Medicine, Morals, Law and Sociology, to analyze its implications, if such legislation comes in force, the statement said.
'The Church is deeply concerned about the increasing rate of HIV infection in the country and is intensely mobilizing resources to curb its further spread,' it said.
The Church authorities felt that any proposed legislation in this regard will rather stress the need for intensive preparation courses before marriage and adequate professional counselling that will lead to voluntary HIV testing by the couple preparing for marriage, it added.
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