Henceforth, any couple who intends to marry in Nigeria’s Adamawa state must undergo compulsory HIV and genotype (sickle cell anaemia) tests.
A law passed by the state, House of Assembly stipulate that the tests must be conducted in public hospitals or registered diagnostic centres one week before the marriage.
According to the Nigerian News Agency, the law was unanimously passed after the third reading of the bill at plenary presided over by the Speaker, Alhaji Kabiru Mijinyawa.
The agency said a motion for the third reading of the bill was moved by majority leader, Hassan Barguma (APC-Hong) and seconded by deputy speaker, Emmanuel Tsamdu (APC-Madagali).
In accordance with the rules of the house, the Speaker then directed the clerk of the Assembly to make a clean copy of it and forward to the governor to append his signature.
The law also requires that any religious institution where a wedding would be contracted, the clergymen of the institutions must be furnished with copies of certificates of the test results.
It states that “Any person or persons who have complied with this law in fulfilment of the requirement of the previous marriage shall not on this basis evade undergoing the test when contracting any subsequent marriage.”
A part of the law also states that, “Individuals, communities, employers and employees have a mutual responsibility to prevent discrimination on the basis of HIV/ Aids or sickle cell anaemia in the society.
“No cultural practice or tradition shall encourage documented practices that expose people to risk of HIV infection.”
Any individual or organisation that flouts the law will suffer a penalty of Naira 150000 (R60000) and N500000 respectively or imprisonment for a period not less than one year or both.
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