Jigawa State House of Assembly has passed a bill which makes it compulsory for all intending couples to undergo test for HIV/AIDs, twice, in the last three months before marriage is contracted.
Reading the report at yesterday’s plenary, Chairman of the Committee on the control of HIV/AIDs, Ibrahim Suleman Gwiwa said the bill intends to provide free and compulsory HIV/AID test before marriage as well prohibit all forms of discrimination and stigmatisation against people living with virus.
Gwiwa said the bill became necessary because the disease was spreading in the state through marriages contracted without HIV tests, between prospective couple.
He explained that in the bill, Sharia and Magistrate Courts would have jurisdiction to try HIV/AIDs related offences and added that, on the other hand, Association for People living with HIV/AIDs and State Agency for the Control of AIDs would be deployed for enforcement at all levels.
“The bill intends to provide free and compulsory HIV/AIDs test before marriage and to prohibit all forms of discrimination and stigmatisation against persons living with the virus in Jigawa with a view to curbing the spread of the deadly virus in the state.
“Intending couples should submit themselves together to the same facility and the result should be open to them by the counsellor at the same time.
“Tests should be done twice, three months and two weeks to the marriage and the bill indicates that Shariah and Magistrate Courts in the state have jurisdiction to try offences under the law.”