Bali’s reputation as a province with the highest number of HIV/AIDS infections in Indonesia has prompted the Denpasar capital city government to consider dramatic steps to help reduce what is still largely a disease with fatal consequences.
To this end a new regulation, still being drafted and discussed, contains “recommendations” to intending newlyweds to undergo HIV/AIDS screening before formalizing their wedding vows.
Quoted in Radar Bali, the head of the special committee to combat HIV/AIDS in Denpasar, A.A. Gede Mahendra, said, “Tests for engaged couples will reveal if they suffer from HIV/AIDS.”
The step, intended to raise HIV/AIDS awareness and reduce casual sex among young people, will also include confidential counseling for any couple that tests prove to be infected with the virus.
Mahendra was quick to explain that the proposed screening program would be completely voluntary,
According the Mahendra, who is also a local legislator, the new regulation is slated for approval in a matter of weeks.
Denpasar, the capital of Bali, has the highest rate of HIV/AIDS infections on the island.
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