Human Rights Watch reports that Rwanda is considering a bill with scary mandates:
First it provides that all individuals who plan to marry must undergo HIV testing and provide a certificate beforehand. Second, married individuals are required to be tested for HIV/AIDS upon the request of their spouses. Third, if a physician finds it “necessary” for a child or an incapacitated person to be tested for HIV/AIDS, he or she may conduct the test without seeking consent and may show the result to the parent, guardian, or care provider.
But Rwanda’s Deputy Speaker of Parliament denies this:
Rwanda has strongly denied reports that its parliament is considering a draft law which would forcibly sterilise people who are mentally disabled.
Damascene Ntawukuriryayo, deputy speaker of parliament, was responding to a call by US-based activists Human Rights Watch to scrap the proposed law.
He also told the BBC that plans for HIV testing before couples get married are strictly voluntary, not compulsory.
Mr Ntawukuriryayo said the lobby group should check before releasing reports.
So, where does that leave things? The bill certainly exists. But what it contains, its status, and so on seems to be something of a mystery right now. I guess we’ll have to wait and see. There’s a fine line to mind between getting info out there and ensuring all the facts are correct, particularly in a world where information can spread as fast as we can type it and our twitter followers, RSS readers, listserv subscribers and blog buddies see it and spread it.