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Indian Journal of Community Medicine

Stop Unnecessary and forced HIV testing of Students

Author(s): Dr. Sonu Goel, Dr. J.S. Thakur, Prof. A.J Singh

Vol. 31, No. 2 (2006-04 - 2006-06)

The recent HIV- AIDS related Campaign on 'I am HIV Negative, Are you?' in Chandigarh (Indian Express November, 30, 2005) needs to be nipped in the bud.

The whole idea based on the line of 'I Use.....Cream, Do you?' lacks scientific and logical thinking. It has following problems.

  • This is a laboratory and market intensive idea. This will lead to extensive blood testing of vast populace of India. Presently, only students are being targeted. Probably they have been assumed to be a captive population - not expected to speak against whatever their teachers tell them to do. This idea will only promote the sale of diagnostic kits and related equipments.
  • This will lead to unnecessary finger pricking of the people thus exposing them to the risks involved.
  • One single test for HIV carries no meaning. It does not ensure that a person declared negative will continue to be negative tomorrow or later. Moreover, the test is also not completely fool proof.
  • The slogan 'I am HIV Negative, are you?' will spread a kind of mistrust among the student fraternity.
  • Declaring oneself 'HIV Negative' should not be promoted as a MATTER OF PRIDE. The main thing is not to indulge in risky behaviour. Emphasis should be on health and moral education and not on flaunting a test-report.
  • While we do not exhort people for getting tested for anemia, TB, which are the major killers in developing world.
  • Why give so much uncalled emphasis on AIDS.
  • It is time now that we stop endorsing each and every slogan, strategy and demand in the name of AIDS, as the Naz foundation tried to do for homosexuality. Mercifully the Govt. put its foot down and refused to endorse homosexuality (Indian Express December 1, 2005).


  1. The Indian Express November 30, 2005 (Chandigarh Edition)
  2. The Indian Express December 1, 2005 (Chandigarh Edition)

Dr. Sonu Goel, Dr. J.S. Thakur, Prof. A.J Singh Department Community Medicine PGIMER, Chandigarh. Received : 8.12.2005

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