May 26, 2005
Beginning in January, Malaysia's northeastern state of Kelantan will require Muslim couples seeking to wed to undergo pre-martial HIV testing, the New Straits Times newspaper reported Thursday. Kelantan state Islamic Development Committee Chairperson Hassan Mohamood was quoted as saying that couples must present test results prior to registering for mandatory marriage preparatory classes. If a partner is HIV-infected, they will be counseled regarding risks but will not be barred from marrying, said Hassan. The measure, he said, was prompted by the increase in HIV among young people in the state. Similar measures are in effect in the states of Johor and Perlis.