Plans for forced HIV tests for people whose bodily fluids come into contact with police – despite there being no record of this ever happening – has been widely slammed by lawmakers and activists.
New South Wales’s Labor party, Australia, signalled its intent to introduce a scheme that will allow for mandatory testing of HIV and other blood borne viruses (BBV) of those who assault police and frontline workers.
The proposed model would also give authorities the power to determine when testing occurs.
HIV experts as well as lawmakers have slammed the move, branding it unscientific and “dangerous” while urging parliament to stymie it, Star Observerreported it.
Sydney lawmaker: Plans for forced tests are ‘fear-mongering’.
Alex Greenwich, an independent member of parliament and Australian Marriage Equality co-chair has urged for lawmakers to block the proposed plan.
He described how the Labor-led policy would force citizens to submit to blood tests despite there being no realistic chance of acquiring HIV, lambasting the plan as “fear-mongering”.
“This proposal has no basis in medical evidence to back it up and risks vexatious targeting of the LGBTI community and other vulnerable groups,” Greenwich explained.
“The LGBTI community has worked hard in recent years to develop a good working relationship with the police.
“Given the history of police violence towards us, this hasn’t always been easy, and progress has been hard won.
“This proposal jeopardises not only our relationship with law enforcement, but decades of progress in de-stigmatising the LGBTI community and winning equality in the eyes of the law.
“It is fear-mongering, pure and simple,” he concluded.
Bill aims to stop people acquiring HIV in a way that hasn’t happened in nearly two decades.
Opposition leader Jodi McKay said Labor would introduce the bill to test offenders for viruses such as HIV and hepatitis C.