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COMMENT | Is premarital HIV testing doing the right thing?

COMMENT | Premarital HIV screening for Muslim couples is justified on religious grounds. But at what cost?

Malaysia is among the many countries that have enacted national laws and policies mandating premarital HIV testing.

Johor was the first state to introduce premarital HIV screening for Muslim couples in 2001. By early 2009, Muslim couples across the country were required to submit to premarital HIV testing.

Non-Muslim couples are not compelled to go through the mandatory testing, but in 2018, the then-Pakatan Harapan government suggested expanding compulsory premarital HIV testing to non-Muslim couples.

The idea was quickly quashed, and the suggestion received strong objections from human rights groups, calling it an "ineffective long-term solution" to combat rising HIV cases.

In 2010, the Open Society Foundations, in a report on mandatory premarital HIV testing, stated that such testing not only undermines the fundamental principles of HIV testing but also...

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