HIV Tests for Zambian Defense Recruits Ruled Out
May 30, 2003
The Times, a newspaper in Zambia, on Wednesday quoted Defense Minister Michael Mabenga as saying that recruits will not be subjected to an HIV test. "We do not test recruits in the Zambia Army and Zambia Air Force. Even in the recent recruitment exercise, we had no entrant who was subjected to an HIV test except for physical fitness," he said. "We however do voluntary HIV tests if there are signs and symptoms that one is infected, but we do not impose those tests on them." Earlier reports, which the defense force characterized as a misrepresentation, said that all recruits in Zambia would be subjected to a compulsory HIV test. Mabenga said those in the service who contract HIV are not dismissed but are assigned to light jobs. He said the government has 1.5 billion kwacha (about US$300,000) in the budget to procure antiretroviral drugs for officers.Adapted from:
Xinhua News Agency
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.