Saudi Arabia To Require Mandatory HIV Testing For Couples Before Marriage

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Saudi Arabia starting next year plans to require couples wishing to be married to be screened for HIV, Khaled al-Zahrani, the Ministry of Health's assistant undersecretary for preventive medicine, said on Wednesday, AFP/Yahoo! News reports.

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Couples will be required to receive tests for both HIV and hepatitis at one of more than 20 centers to be established nationwide, according to al-Zahrani.

If either partner tests HIV-positive and the couple still wishes to marry, the case will be considered in conjunction with the Ministry of Justice, al-Zahrani said.

About 11,000 HIV/AIDS cases were reported in the country between 1984, when the first case was recorded, and the end of 2005, according to a health ministry official (AFP/Yahoo! News, 8/29).

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