Nation e-Edition

HIV tests for all

HIV tests for all Professor of Public Health, Epidemiology and HIV/AIDS at the UWI Mona, Jamaica Campus, Dr J. Peter Figueroa.

Tue, December 04, 2012 - 12:09 AM

EVERYONE BEING admitted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital should be tested for HIV, in the same way all pregnant mothers are expected to be screened.

So says Professor of Public Health, Epidemiology and HIV/AIDS at the University of the West Indies’ Mona, Jamaica Campus, Dr J. Peter Figueroa.

He was one of the participants in a panel discussion on the topic Paradigm Shift In Prevention Policy: A Public Health Perspective – part of the two-day National HIV/AIDS Commission HIV Research Symposium 2012 at the Savannah Hotel yesterday.

Others on the panel included Minister of Health Donville Inniss, Minister of Family Stephen Lashley, Member of Parliament and attorney Mia Mottley, and chairman of the Research Committee of the HIV Commission, Professor Clive Landis. (LK)

Please read the full story in today’s DAILY NATION, or in the eNATION edition.

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Posted by Carl Harper 1 year, 8 months ago
The topic was a "Paradigm Shift In Prevention Policy: A Public Health Perspective." [commenting on what's available online, only]

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.

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Posted by Alicia Osborne 1 year, 8 months ago
There is something called 'opt out' testing. This means that you are made aware that having an HIV test is a normal part of the routine blood testing but you can decline having this test. I expect this is the procedure used with testing all pregnant women. However in saying this you will have to have very robust procedures and support networks in place if this is an option moving forward. People will still have their rights which is to refuse testing without this decision having a negative impact on how they are treated following that refusal. On a positive note (no pun intended) this can also be a way to bring about a certain level of normalisation and destigmatisation of HIV testing and being HIV positive if carried out in a sensitive and proactive way. However you cannot make this test mandatory for all as people have a right to be tested or not.

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Posted by dirty okra 1 year, 8 months ago
I think this hospital is getting ready to be sued if this is a procedure they are going to adopt.

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Posted by Rico Cave 1 year, 8 months ago
ummmmm......will all of these samples go to the already backed up and busy lab at the q.e.h where Lab Technicians try hard to get back one sample to a ward or will they go to a private lab..... or will this be a quick stick put the blood on paper and wait for a colour.

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Posted by Kenneth King 1 year, 8 months ago
I just want to give my opinion on this matter, I feel it should be mandatory because of the rising cases of this deadly disease. I feel that people should be protected and those infected be more cautious with whom they sleep with and pay a more responsible role in not spreading the HIV further around the country.It is okay to argue for your rights but this sickness has no limits to whom it infects, with such a small population this can infect the whole country within Months if not controlled and those infected speak out. The more we are honest about it the more understanding our society becomes. There is a whole town at the moment in Germany where everyone living there must do the AIDS test because of the increase of the illness. I hope we do the right thing and control this problem before it gets out of hand, their will be some who will be angry with society and might try to pass on the sickness knowing that their life lies in a critical situation, criminal but the possibility is there.

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