In an effortto stop the spread of HIV within marriage, couples wishing to marry in Saudi Arabia will soon have to be tested for both HIV and HCV in one of more than 20 centers across the kindom, AFP/Yahoo News! reports. While it may be feasible to enact such a policy, there are still key ethical issues to take into consideration: what happens if someone tests positive? Are they forced to disclose to their future spouse? Are they still "allowed" to get married under Saudi law? Or, will the adoption of such a policy help normalize HIV testing and increase linkages to care and support services when necessary.
In Zimbabwe, both faith-based organizationsand development agencies have tried to leverage marriage as an opportunity to promote HIV counseling and testing. Because Zimbabwe outlaws mandatory HIV testing, a formal initiative was never launched, however the practice is promoted informally in certain communities including a part of Manicaland Province where young men and women must obtain a "certificate of fitness" which includes an HIV test before marriage.
PSI/Zimbabwe has also tackled this issue by producing radio and television spots that encourage premarital testing as a part of promotional campaigns for its New Start counseling and testing centers.