Nation e-Edition

What’s Trending: HIV testing for all

What’s Trending: HIV testing for all

Tue, December 04, 2012 - 9:39 AM

The Nation’s Associate Editor, Sherie Holder-Olutayo takes a look at what’s trending today in Barbados.

Several of our online readers weighed in on today’s Daily Nation story that called for mandatory testing for HIV for people admitted to the QEH. This was the conclusion of Dr. J. Peter Figueroa who spoke on the topic Paradigm Shift in Prevention Policy: A Public Health Perspective in yesterday’s HIV Research Symposium. Our online readers weighed in on this issue.

Carl Harper: I am not clear on how testing all persons admitted to the QEH for HIV will "prevent" the infection, unless knowing the HIV status has more to do with protecting healthcare staff that would come in direct contact with the patients. In the interest of prevention, staff should be caring for all patients with the necessary precautionary measures in place. As far as pregnant women are concern, testing could mean being able to administer early treatment to an HIV infected mother, thereby preventing infection and saving the life of the developing fetus. I maintain that HIV testing should remain voluntary in the general population and at the QEH, except for admitted pregnant mothers.

Donna Juanita Walrond-Howell: I agree 100%. Doing this would save plenty of lives. They are lots of young people who have this virus and have no idea until they are sick or spread it already to others. They should also have all kids in secondary school tested as well. Educate our young kids and try to save some of them.

Ta-shasher Mayers: I think people have rights. When you say A you have to B...what if the person being admitted doesn't want to be tested, then what don't admit them. This is very serious and should be discussed and thought through very carefully before we have people seeking legal advice as to what their rights are.

Conchita Moseley: Better late than never, it is our own responsibility to have regular health checks for the HIV virus.


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Posted by Derico Weir 1 year, 10 months ago
I maintain that HIV testing should remain voluntary in the general population and at the QEH, except for admitted pregnant mothers.

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Posted by dirty okra 1 year, 10 months ago
That is a violation of human rights. That is a voluntary test. I see the fiasco brewing already.

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Posted by c holder 1 year, 10 months ago
Calm down.
Routine testing for HIV will remove the stigma attached to this disease and allow HIV infection to be managed properly as the chronic illness that it is.
When persons have medical emergencies it is a medical and legal requirement to check their blood sugar, kidney function and other routine blood tests to diagnose and treat that person correctly.
A person who is ill should similarly have routine HIV testing done for the same reason. It could be dangerous or even, fatal, to under-treat someone with undiagnosed HIV infection or give treatments that are not recommended for HIV-positive persons e.g. certain vaccines.
Medicine is not guesswork and there must be protocols implemented where persons who refuse any valid investigations or treatments should be advised and made to sign a waiver releasing the facility or staff from any liability for their outcome. The facility and staff should also have the right to withhold treatment when the patient refuses all reasonable efforts to be properly evaluated since they cannot know what they are treating.
In such cases, mental competence should obviously be assessed.
After 30 years of knowledge and education about
HIV/ AIDS we have to stop this ignorant behavior.

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Posted by Kenneth King 1 year, 10 months ago
What will someone have to hide if such a test be conducted, would it be not right for those working at the QEH to have some sort of safety measure, should an HIV patient not recognized and pass on the virus to a nurse or other worker who might not have taken that extra precaution as they only saw such person in need of help and then got infected would that be fair to that individual or is it only a rist that comes with the job. They are also human being with families just like all of us and I do not see a reason to with held this kind of information from the opinion.

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Posted by J. Payne 1 year, 10 months ago
In America if they want to make something mandatory they'llsay you must do it for remaining in school, or in order to obtain a license. For example, some states in America require a full blood test (for diseases) before they'll grant a marriage license.

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