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Lancet. 2000 Aug 19;356(9230):662.

Concerns raised about Botswana's proposed HIV-disclosure law.



On August 10, 2000, Botswana's Minister for Health, Joy Phumaphi, announced that the country is considering legislation making disclosure of one's HIV status to a sex partner mandatory. The legislation would make sexual activity without information a criminal offense. However, Phumaphi's statement has created worldwide concern. Ethicists Anna Mastroianni of the University of Washington and Jeffrey Kahn of the University of Minnesota argue that such a policy, if enacted, would further increase the spread of HIV/AIDS because people would not present for HIV testing. Moreover, Josef Decosas of the Southern Africa AIDS Training Programme, Harare, Zimbabwe adds that such legislation would disempower women and be used to criminalize prostitution and drive the industry further underground. He rather recommends regular access to sexual health care services and intensive support for consistent condom use in containing HIV epidemic in Botswana.

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