Mandatory AIDS testing

Essay by ufohouUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, December 2000

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AIDS has become a worldwide epidemic that has struck every identifiable group. However, persons who are considered to be in a high-risk group of contracting HIV, the disease believed to cause AIDS, are still stigmatized by the media and other professionals as being diseased and abnormal. It is quite surprising still that this type of stereotype still exists now in our gender-bending society. No longer do only gays, prostitutes, bisexual men, intravenous drug users contract HIV, the heterosexual community is also facing the epidemic at phenomenon increases. It is estimated that heterosexual transmission accounts for 75% of all AIDS cases in the world.(Video, CBC In Review) And still individuals persist that AIDS is a gay disease and that if one is not gay, one is immune from it. No one is immune to from AIDS. Until a vaccine and cure is discovered for AIDS, the numbers will increase and people will keep dying.

Therefore it is of vital importance to educate people about AIDS and to promote safer sex. The key word now is prevention. Among many proposed policies to help prevent AIDS infection, one of the most controversial is mandatory AIDS testing. Mandatory AIDS testing is theoretically very effective, however, when it is applied, it is not practical at all because one is dealing with human nature, the odd nature of the virus itself, and also all of the stigmas that are attached to AIDS. Therefore, not only will mandatory AIDS testing not prevent HIV infection, it will indirectly increase HIV infection because of the adverse effect it will have on voluntary testers.

One of the major flaws of mandatory AIDS testing is that 'it provides people with a false sense of security.'(Greig, p68) When one goes for AIDS testing or more accurately an HIV antibody test which...