Harare Maternity Clinics Reportedly Conducting Compulsory HIV/AIDS Tests On Pregnant Women

“In a move that is likely to raise the ire of HIV/AIDS activists, maternity clinics in [Harare] are conducting compulsory HIV/AIDS tests on pregnant women before they can register for delivery,” the Zimbabwean reports, adding, “Scores of pregnant women in the high-density suburb of Glen-Norah told this newspaper that they were being asked to bring their spouses [to be tested] if they wanted to register to deliver their babies.” According to the newspaper, “The Zimbabwean visited [a clinic] in Glen-Norah where workers confirmed they had turned away ‘a few’ people so they could bring their spouses for testing.”

Ministry of Health National Tuberculosis Program Manager Charles Sandy “in response to written questions on the issue said government had no compulsory HIV/AIDS testing but urged everyone to know their status, especially those expecting,” the newspaper writes, adding, “‘We have no such policy and if it’s happening we will investigate. But it’s against policy, that I can tell you,’ he said.” The newspaper provides quotes from a number of expecting mothers regarding their experiences at maternity clinics in the city (Ndabatei, 1/18).