The Ministry of Health decision on the non-criminalization of the wilful transmission of HIV/AIDS may have been correct

Dear Editor,

Needless to say, I was disappointed that the National Assembly did not pass the motion I presented on the wilful transmission of HIV/AIDS to unsuspecting individuals. However, the process was satisfied because it did meet the Select Committee stage. Subsequently I read in the press about Guyana’s improvement in the fight against HIV/ AIDS, bringing the amount of infected persons under 1.5% of the population. If those figures are correct, the Ministry of Health must be commended and its position concerning the non-criminalization of the wilful transmission of HIV/AIDS may have been the correct decision.  However, I still believe that those persons who deliberately spread the HIV/ AIDS virus should be held accountable.

My discussions with the members of health fraternity have made it clear that more has to be done to dissuade such individuals from such reckless behaviour. These health workers are often frustrated by the constraints on them regarding the present laws of non-disclosure. We must find another way to encourage these infected persons to change their behaviour. If this is possible, Guyana could boast of even lower infection rates in this hemisphere.

Laws are clearly in place to protect persons living with HIV/AIDS, but what is in place to protect those persons who are wilfully infected?

Yours faithfully,
Everall Franklin MP
Guyana Action Party

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