Redenclave raised an issue in my last post Wine and Sex by saying that in Malaysia "some states have implemented the rule that all would be couples are to be tested for AIDS/HIV. As there were many cases where their spouses were tested HIV + after they have consummated their marriage. Some transmit this through drug addiction or rampant sex."
My reference to chastity and STD was sure to bring up AIDS or HIV, so Red's remark about how HIV testing had become compulsory for newlyweds reminded me of a post by Indian blogger Mahima .
"Andra Pradesh just called for compulsory HIV testing before marriage and
everyone seems to agree that this is a violation of individual rights. [...]
Most of the people who objected were from the US, Canada and other Western
countries. And their objection was pretty much limited to the fact that they
assumed the government was frowning on people’s sex lives. One poster from this
side of the planet pointed out, rightly, that HIV was an enormous issue in India
and since most weddings are arranged and women have no control over their
husbands sex lives, this is one way of ensuring they won’t contract AIDS right
off the bat. "
I had earlier read her above mentioned post "test this" (Hattip Neha Viswanathan from Global Voices) in December but never had the time to elaborate on it. I was going to blog about this topic with regards to Libya, I guess now is the time to do it.
I was not aware that Libya was one of the countries where pre-marriage HIV testing was obligatory. I learned about this a few years back when my friend was going to get married to a non-Libyan and a health certificate was requested for both before proceeding with the other formalities. Apparently no AIDS test = no marriage contract. This rule is for all whether you marry a Libyan or not, as long as one partner is Libyan, and/or as long as you marriage is officiated by a Libyan clerk.
Personally I don’t find this law offensive, because since I’ve made all the efforts to keep myself clean all these years, I expect the same from my partner and knowing the double standards that prevail in our part of the world re. chastity, honour , virginity and other related stuff, and since I cannot guarantee that my potential husband has not been near another woman before me, or I have no idea about his past before he decided to settle as many think it is great fun to be a playboy before marriage, so at least I’ll know. For extra re-assurance I will do it at the reference state lab ( as requested) but also at an independent one since some people have managed to bribe health officials to get a clean health of bill certificate. I would probably check his semen :) too , see my earlier post here.
As a teenager I used to joke that suitors had to come with a CV and application form to marry me and I will screen them thoroughly for suitability, but now they better add that HIV test.
I just had mine for my new job so why not Mr. Highlander.
What do you think ?