Just spent a few days in a workshop looking at testing for HIV. Now, this infectious disease is one that many people in the area I am working in have, many more do not know they have, and almost everybody is scared of. There are many reasons for this - the culture of silence, the culture of prostitution, the lack of accessible treatment - which we could discuss all day whilst getting nowhere. The bits that we can do are already too big a task to waste time on what we can't do.
However, I would like to make a small protest about my own government's handling of the issue. What follows is completely unsubstantiated, but heard from those in a position to know.
Refugees get tested before being accepted. Given that mandatory testing has no public health benefit, and from my studies of the migration rules last year there is no official requirement for HIV testing (please correct me if you can), I would argue that testing those who are fleeing persecution is ethically dubious and merely cause for further discriminiation. However, if someone feels it must be done then I can at least see their point of view.
What I really object to is mandatorily (?) testing someone and then publishing their positive HIV status as the reason for rejecting their application. Someone who lives a enclosed community of several thousand people already has no privacy. I would have thought that a supposedly enlightened country could find a little more sensitivity. But, I guess our handling of refugee issues isn't exactly known for its sensivity or recognition of human rights.