Tuesday, June 18, 2024

It’s not Mandatory HIV Testing-Health Minister


Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya

Government appears to have backed down on its decision to introduce mandatory testing for HIV in Zambia.

Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya clarified that what Government will be implementing is routine testing for HIV as part of diagnostic screening to be initiated by the health care provider.

Dr Chilufya said the key is that in all HIV testing, full consent of the patient will have to be obtained.

He said patients will still have the option to opt out if they do not want to be tested for HIV in line with global standards and medical ethics.

The Health Minister was speaking when he featured on a live ZNBC Sunday Interview television programme.

Dr Chilufya’s clarification is a major shift from the policy pronouncement made by President Edgar Lungu last week.

President Lungu declared that Zambia has now introduced mandatory testing for HIV and stated that the policy decision is not open for debate.

Launching the 2017 HIV Testing, Counselling and Treatment (HTCT) Day at Olympic Youth Development Council (OYDC) in Lusaka on Tuesday, President Lungu said HIV testing is now mandatory for anyone who visits any public health facility for any ailment.

But Dr Chilufya explained that no one will be forced to test for HIV but that health care providers will encourage those that will present symptoms to test for HIV.

“Before any blood is drawn from your body, consent will be obtained and the tests or any kind of diagnosis explained to the patient. It is not like there will be police officers who will be arresting those people that will opt out but it is important to encourage everyone to know their HIV status,” Dr Chilufya stated.

He stressed that there has not been any change in Government’s position on HIV testing saying the same approach will continue.

“What has ignited the debate is just the issue of semantics here. What we are saying is that when you come to the health facility, the health care provider will off course counsel you and based on the symptoms, you will be advised to undergo an HIV test as a routine. So, it is not mandatory because as Government, we are alive to the issue of human rights, ethics and global standards,” he said.


    • What nonsense, Jonathan’s words were “mandatory” and “non-debateble” now am convinced beyond doubt that this PF government has a problem with admitting wrongs. That’s weakness and not strength guys, wake up!

    • Well, in Canada we do blood work every year and full results are sent to your doctor who communicates them to you. AIDS is a disease there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Mandatory testing was the way to go.

    • Yaba. This now seems like from the President, through to cabinet and cadres all are suffering mounth gastro disease. let go then check where? imagine what they are doing to the finances trufully. You will cry. Lelo

    • @1.2, it’s not proper to give false and ambiguous statements on public fora.
      If it’s not the patient’s own doctor, who orders this so called blood work and on whom? Is it for screening, diagnostic or treatment monitoring purposes? I suspect you are alluding to screening,,, in which case you have probably told a lie because HIV testing is not part of the preventive health screening panel for the general population.

    • Jonathan must be sick, why was he challenging those opposed to go to court???if he didn’t say mandatory …. Really laughable, my brother @jayjay was right that these chaps will u-turn..

    • Oh, boy. Lungu first announces compulsory HIV testing, then the health minister contradicts him. What a clueless incompetent president! What wasted years for Zambia. We all must weep.

    • I am sure Amos Chanda is going to blame the opposition for this reversal. Remember he is blaming HH for the failed meeting in South Africa. Awe bane people can be incompetent Mr Lungu is beyond redemption.


    • We told you to watch this space..that these empty tins will back track of this issue. In all honesty how does a cabinet full of school leavers pass such laws without consulting technocrats like Human Rights lawyers…folly of the highest order.

    • lungu surrounds himself with extremely unintelligent advisers, his own brain is a disaster area. Major blunder after another committed even in foreign lands. Forgetting he was on alien soil he ‘summoned’ opposition leaders! Even mugabe doesn’t do that! Now whose word is final here? The ministers or the dictator’s?

    • As usual some numb skulls will be praising the PF government for being a listening Government. Eiiish and you want to blame Trump for being Racist?? Collectively our thinking is worrying as a race and we need to start seriously introspecting. Create the problem, sort it out and Praises and Kudos will follow. So what this seemingly educated minister is saying is no different from what is prevailing

    • Consert is the wording we all talked about earlier. Just a clarification for the dunderheads. It’s not gonna be like the police will be there to force you. Hey is it a human rights issue for men not women.

    • The truth is that our President knows very little and his advisors are always taking advantage of him. How can a lawyer not know the difference between mandatory and opt-out? He was once debarred from practicing law. Just look a how his advisors embarrassed him and the nation again in SA. The president needs to take control and show leadership

    • It’s not wrong for one to reconsider its position, but the issue here is how this has been presented to the public. The minister fully undermining his boss, making him look sill.y after that strong and forceful speech.

      One wonders who is in control of this country kanshi? It is not the first time we have witnessed such undermining and the President nindwi chabe.

      C H I P A N T E P A N TE at its peak.

    • What was the rush in issuing sentiments without thorough investigating this statement which is so embarrassing? Who is truly advising these politicians? I wonder if there is one anyway.

    • Our pregnant wives have had to undergo HIV tests during ante-natal. I started taking the HIV test together with other tests when I was told it was more encouraging to my wife to take her HIV test when pregnant if I was able to do so as well. Since then, I have found nothing wrong with the test. Please, all men out there, let us not fear the HIV test. It is not only good for our wives, our children and fellow citizens. It is also good for ourselves. If you check, all those opposing testing for HIV are actually men. The fight against HIV and AIDS requires the support of all well-meaning men to be won. Thinks twice before you oppose. If testing early for HIV and treatment will help suppress your viral load when infected and spare others from infection, then go for it.

    • when i tell you 99% of africans are not educated you dont believe me. Show me one educated zambian politician and i will give you the phone number to Gods house in the “heavens”.

    • There move was illegal and against human rights. Let the people decide for themselves. Actually if this is mandatory, we should start with the President, VP, Ministers, and all other MPs.

    • Ba Lungu! So disabled in his thinking our president. He waffles all the time. The only thing he can do with certainity is to travel

    • Every system undergoes reviews aimed at perfecting implementation thus government must have spent time looking into the failures of VCT to make improvements than covering failures with declarations! Why is it that stigma is still not mitigated and seems to be growing in magnitude? The problem too lies in underplaying and inadequate funding to all kinds of research in search of solutions! If HIV infection is on the rise based on data from the Health Ministry it can only mean that among other reasons there is communication failure in effective promotion on use of condoms as a protection measure!

  1. What nonsense, Jonathan’s words were “mandatory” and “non-debateble” now am convinced beyond doubt that this PF government has a problem with admitting wrongs. That’s weakness and not strength guys, wake up!

    • Edgar dared us to go to court on MANDATORY and NON-DEBATABLE,
      We are still going to court, someone is going to jail over this HIV.

    • Looks like ECL is not the only one gearing up for 2021, it seems there is a tribal clique within PF that is out to tarnish his image as they also gear up for 2021. This chipante-pante seems well orchestrated to make H.E look bad so that THEY take over in 2021. Open your eyes, your worst enemies are sitting at your high table

    • @ Ktwo

      “…it seems there is a tribal clique within PF that is out to tarnish his image as they also gear up for 2021…”

      Damage his image? What image you are blabbing about?

      Image of convicted embezzling lawyer who was challenging the Nation to take him to the Court on the issue?

      Image of “statesmen” (LOL) who summons leaders of the opposition in a foreign country whilst guest in the foreign jurisdiction?

      Or you may be referring to his image of “peace loving and law obeying” (LOL) “humble” get rich approach to Presidency?

  2. Thank God our good doctor has become the newest human rights convert! The same mouth which was screaming ati it’s not human rights to kill yourself or kill young girls. So what happens now, you will allow young girls to be killed ka?

    • I am not surprised at all, we have similar worthless PhD holders here, and yet they have a fan club here at LT.
      Its just a reflection of who we are. Those educated oneones think like maggots with shallow contribution while the uneducated are corny, no wonder Luo has zero influence

  3. Dysfunctional! Anyway, zeal with little knowledge leads to grief! It had to take WHO and UNAIDS to correct the wrong Dr minister failed to see. Does he still have the morals to step down? That never happens in Zambia!

  4. Honorable Minister it was not semantics, why can’t this government admit when it gets it wrong. Admission of error gives more credibility than speaking rubbish trying to justify another ill thought out directive from the president.
    Come on we are looking stupid to the world always back tracking, this is no different to the numerous nolles being presented to the courts

  5. This PF government does not know if it is going or coming. Hehehe.

    U turn on court cases.
    U turn on summoning.
    U turn on mandatory testing.

    Chipante chapante government.

  6. Now you are talking! People aren’t animals. They have right to chose. Even God know that. He doesn’t force people to choose heaven. I hope the president know that.


  8. Mmmmmmm after misleading the masses? If there is no change in policy why did it take cabinet 10 hours to debate the matter. Insoni ebuntu just say ama donors nabamisoka.

    • @Chisenga, help me understand why you love the PF? This is a genuine question. To me, the PF has been disorganized from the beginning, so I find very little to endear them to me. I am a systems guy. I love efficient process and effective outcomes! This government seems to know neither process nor SMART goal. In my view, MMD was the best party ever to rule Zambia, especially during the Mwanawasa administration. The PF is embarrassing us daily!

  9. If you are aggrieved you can go to court!! Those were strong words that did not require debate at all it was a decision made on behalf of the people whether someone accepted it or not. It went against medical ethics that is why I personally felt it was wrong. We will still be screened as fall as the president is concerned this is what has been passed on to the health institutions. Consent or no consent….how am l going to know whether they will check my status or not? They will do whatever they want to do with my blood the only thing is that I won’t know my status if I gave them I refused and this will come back to the same old situation . On the hand if some looks at me and notices some symptoms they will say routine screening??? Won’t send a wrong message?

  10. Just changed their policy bcuz of bad PR and consultations with world health professionals.That was bad policy just like the “disaster stadium”

  11. ECL is an embarrassment to the country. This is why we voters did not vote for him.

    He and his administration lack depth. They do not consult. Policy reversal are the order of the day.

    U turn on tariffs.
    U turn on vegetable exports.
    U turn on maize exports.
    U turn on mineral royalty.
    U turn on disaster heroes stadium.

    We are yet to hear of U turns on Zambia airways, new capital city and solar chigayos.

    Hahaha. What jokers we have.

  12. 1.2. I will not repeat your name, lol.
    But I also live in Canada- HIV is not a required part of routine annual medicals, and is not mandatory. At least not in BC for sure. However it is a requirement for immigration purposes, just like in many other countries.

    • 1.2. Actually, to correct myself- HIV is not even required fro immigration purposes in Canada- It is required in Botswana for a job in the govt. Have never had to do an HIV test in Canada or USA.

  13. U-turn on Chinese investors by MCS ,U-turn on Gabon disaster stadium ,u turn on treason trial for HH ,another u turn on AIDS testing…more loading.

  14. U turn on many topics have the police u turned and charged Kaizer Zulu for stadium incident involving a policewoman

  15. U turn on unregistered cars. They say its been there before and for you to register the car you have to drive it to the venue for inspection and fitness. But initially it was said that you have to do all this at the boarder or at home. You just needed to invite interpol and ratsa officers at your home or boarder.
    what a disaster!!!!

    • You call yourself “patriot” !!!! Do you know what that word means? I am doubting as you obviously do not know where to find the CAPS LOCK on your keyboard.!!!

      Or are you just a dull paid PF supporter? Well then it is understandable. Another PF LIE to add to the long, long list of LIES !!!

    • @18.1 your contribution reminds me of a seminar I attended where a seminar coordinator asked participants to send any grievances to her office through her email, but pleaded with us not to write in capital letters as she felt she was being shouted at.

  16. This was bound to fail because these chaps, were quick with their pronouncements without consulting other stajeholders. The president went as far as daring those opposing him to go to court, well his minister has backpeddled and we are waitibg to hear his reaction. My conclusion is that cabinet didn’t even sit to discuss the issue. The president was merely trying to appease those at the event wete he made the announcement.

  17. My advice to you Government Officials: Before you pronounce any thing PRAY TO GOD: Emulate King David, King Solomon Also Nehemiah, Ezra and others like Daniel then things shall be well in our Nation, Zambia. Kneel down and ask GOD in what ever you are doing.

    • #20, our leaders need to be humble and realize that they are servants of the people and not kings! If you are representing people, get their input and involve them in the decision making process. Just making pronouncements that burden the people you represent, without their input, is the height of arrogance. Remember, God looks at the heart. If you lead with a truly humble heart, you will be blessed.

  18. All those who resist testing will miserably die without accessing ARVs. And you are all at risk of being infected by those i.di.ots resisting testing

  19. This is typical of chipantepante govt no well research policy direction on everything. They are day dreamers.


  21. We have a president whom no one will respect because he gets high under kachasu without thinking just to deny later or his cadres to deny later. this is what happens when the president is surrounded by thugs.

  22. What I am telling you is important. I am a TRADITIONAL / SANGOMA with strong Ethical principles that I extend to all life. I connect and interact with people with the help of ancestors and spiritually. I believe it is a healer’s duty to foster life in all its forms and alleviate bad luck, confusion and life’s mysterious problems. As a traditional / Sangoma I practice with high motives and by following the Ancestral laws or help. A transit period is on your way and you are not perfectly positioned to get the very best out of the opportunities it is set to bring. Indeed you have lived in the glare of several powerful negative influences. These influences bring about relationship misunderstandings, they put your finances / business in trouble and so is your life in general. You must realize…

  23. The Problem is Lungu himself. He is visionless , clueless and does not consult b4 announcing govt Policy. Lungu’s style of Leadership is to blame. Becoz Lungu is dictorial officials fear to advise him and leave him to blunder. B4 announcing a change in HIV Policy Lungu should have consulted various stakeholders but he did not. To make matters worse Lungu has surrounded himself with thugs and criminals. Lungu is comfortable with these “yes men” who fail to advise him. As long Lungu is surrounded by these illiterate and criminal advisers the blundering will continue.

  24. No wonder we cannot progress as a Nation. We have cabinet full of political cadres who cannot debate objectively. They accept anything that comes from Jonathan as gospel truth. Famous for policy consistences. People who can just woke up and as if they slept of marijuana and tell the nation tayamba kupima regardless of the situation. Let us be serious. These guys are time wasters.

    • You are absolutely right. I had wondered how the whole process of mandatory HIV test would have panned out. The General Practitioners were being threatened with de-registration of their practices if they did not abide.

      Who would pick up the cost for the tests, Government or the GP’s Practices ? If I go to the GP because I have malaria – I expect to pay for malaria test and the medication for it and nothing more. Like you state these goons do not think and apply their minds. I am assuming that the stuff between their ears actually works!


  26. Well, at least they v realised they made an error and seem to have swallowed their pride and corrected it.

    What’s alarming tho is that the current Zambian regime always takes instruction from international institutions and bodies.

    It’s better if we can sober up when making important policy decisions, saves the gov all this back peddling.

  27. Mandatory HIV testing is not Mandatory.Its Semantics! More Airport stand up comedy shows coming. Unza unbundling.
    Edgar Lungu College of Law.Bowman Lusambo College of Engineering. Kaiser Zulu College of Medicine. Freedom Sikazwe college of Education. Dr Kamba College of Mines and Mineral Sciences. Don’t worry. Its just semantics.

  28. It’s not wrong for one to reconsider its position, but the issue here is how this has been presented to the public. The minister fully undermining his boss, making him look sill.y after that strong and forceful speech.

    One wonders who is in control of this country kanshi? It is not the first time we have witnessed such undermining and the President nindwi chabe.

    C H I P A N T E P A N TE at its peak.

  29. Human Rights, Ethics and Global Standards by UN and World Health Organisation on HIV-AIDS does not allow any one to be tested against there WILL and CONCERT…. MEANING votipima chipime pime balesa…

  30. This minister will be fired if Zambia were America right now!!!!!!Check the way Trump fires. There was nothing wrong with what the President declared. Do not be controlled by external countries. Check Canada and that is the way to go.

  31. Their is NOTHING WRONG TO U TURN , WE DID KA U TURN ON HH, MAMEM MUSI AND MALEMA DID KA U TURN ON US, so we win and loose some u turns its normal. Think of it if PRESIDENT meant compulsory or mandatory testing HE could have led by example but he instead did ka Bp ONLY HAHAHAHA

  32. This kind of leadership is not good ba PF.president Edgar Lungu must stop offering this “chipante pante kind of leadership!!”
    On this HIV issue,cabinet made an error and the best they could have done is to apologise to masses!!!I SUPPORT PF,BUT THIS IS SILLY AND THEY SHOULD KNOW THAT THIS IS HOW GOVNTS START LOSING POPULARITY ESPECIALLY IN URBAN AREAS!!
    In saying this,am not saying i now hate PF-big no.but i want PF leaders to stop lendering this kind of useless leadership.yes,in life its normal to make mistakes,but it shouldnt be a habit!!

    • @Njimbu, for once you have said something sensible. Many times you simply support the PF in their folly, but today you have surprised us with some sense. However, I agree with you that this is how governments lose popularity. I was happy to remove MMD and usher in the PF. I agitated for that because Mr. Rupiah Banda became an arrogant and dictatorial leader. But from the beginning, PF was disorganized big time. After the first two or three blunders (like Mr. Sata nominating 10 MPs instead of 8 etc.), I repented of having PF in power. Now I am agitating to remove PF from power, and such leadership is proving my point!

  33. Leaders need to lead by example. It is acceptable for the individual or couples and families to get involved in such decisions, as health matters. Testing can aggravate the situation if is imposed by government on the public. When government takes the lead, then it is not acceptable. Members of the public are free to make decisions that are beneficial to them. What about mosquito nets? Malaria is largely curable but human behavior is also saying something else. It is all about persuasion. It is prudent to stick to the WHO guidelines.

  34. Why is it that people fear to be told that HIV is the cause of their sickness “opportunistic”, caused maladies?
    It’s like some people still think they are immortal and are not prone to get ill. Any living creature is prone to get sick, so the stance taken to know the cause of ones sickness will help save on the cost spent on opportunistic illnesses as the Doctors will be able to right away prescribe the right medicine from the word go. rather than one frequenting the hospital with different illnesses.
    Why is it that people are still fearing to be told that they are HIV positive…….look at those who have come in the open, they are freely enjoying themselves. It is just like getting infected with other incurable diseases such as cancer, diabetes, blood pressure….etc all what…

  35. Chicken leadership is what we are experiencing here.They do not have the guts to stick to their guns.People are not like animals,with instincts,that you can push at your own volition.People are intelligent,more intelligent for that matter,to make decisions on their own.You cannot sit,as a cabinet,and decide the fate of 15 million people.This issue was supposed to be subjected to debate,since ours is a democratic state.It is not a despotic state where rules are followed without any say.Next time,you come out with such policies,ask the real masters(people)about their decision.It will not do to subject people to your ideas that do not make sense.People are supposed to be guided by a Medical Charter.It is frivolous and against medical ethics to subject people to such a policy.

  36. What a deafening silence from pf cretins like “terrible”, “Mr kudos”, “2020visionless”, etc, over this backtracking of their masters. Shame

  37. what PF did was just to divert the attention from the release of HH from detention to a more hot issue of HIV testing and for sure it worked because people spent time debating this issue.
    PF have intelligence that almost all bloggers here have failed to match.
    PF calculated this very well.

    • @Real Reasoning,
      The PF Govt is playing dice with your brother’s, your sister’s, your cousin’s and your friend’s health and you call that ‘intelligent choice of diversion’? It does not bother you? How old are you?

  38. Sad. Donald Trump is still struggling to ‘repeal and replace the Obama Care’ simply because that’s not the direction the citizenry want to go. Its called democracy. Compare with ours where everything is ‘non- negotiable’. Still a thriving [sic] democracy?

  39. On a serious note. By now, any well-meaning normal functioning adult in PF can easily see that Lungu is committing avoidable mistake after avoidable mistake, bungling after bungling, mispronouncing after mispronouncing, and the list goes on…etc… In all fairness Lungu has evidently become a liability and NOT an asset in as far as leadership is concerned.
    Had it not been for the Country’s inherited momentum created by some of the past Presidents, and international communities like WHO, UNAIDS, Commonwealth, etc.. our Country would most certainly have ground to a halt due to lack of leadership.
    Mother Zambia is evidently now on autopilot. But for how long? How long before it becomes a total basket case?

  40. @real reasoning. This is very dull intelligence. The government has a lot of explaining to do. They shouldn’t play around with our health.Let them issue clear policy directions on what the government resolved in its last cabinet meetings. Let the government not hide behind words.Further Let the Health Practitioners know what they are supposed to do. If this thing is bungled up the minister should be sued in his personal capacity. Let us start taking this government to account. If a project is abandoned after the contractor has been paid, sue the Minister in his personal capacity. There is need for sanity in Zambia.It can’t be business as usual.

  41. Chipante-pante at it’s worst! Whichever cadre still has faith in these empty jackets must be sick in their heads.

  42. it was the introduction of HTCT iwe.
    The Government has said that it has replaced the National HIV Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) with HIV Testing, Counselling and Treatment (HTCT) Day on its calendar of events to be commemorated every year.

  43. #Mama Amina- you are a cursed would . Your ancestors will not rescue you. Don’t bring witchcraft here.Prophets will come gainer you. Jesus Christ will come against you. His fire is coming against you. His angels are against you. Repent or you will perish

  44. President Edgar Lungu woke up one morning and announced that HIV Testing, Counselling and Treatment was Compulsory in Zambia in all government run health facilities, he even challenged those opposed to Mandatory HIV Testing to go to Court, only for his health minister to say, that is not the case. I really feel sorry for Lungu. When he told us he had no vision for Zambia, most people took it to be a double entendre.

  45. THis government of non-thinkers pretenders to the throne. One day they are saying this the next another. Dont we all remember Lungu saying he couldnt release HH? After Commonwealth fimofimo came he released HH.

  46. Well done everbody. Your comments matter. Who knows. If it weren’t for you, these guys could have won. Please, keep commenting. It is called political participation. Don’t listen to those who tell you to shut up. Thank you again.

  47. The other day I (kikikikiki, yes me kikikiki) advised government that this needed revisiting and they listened. I gave my advice in a decent manner and they listened because they knew that I meant well. Now try advice from UPNDonkies kikikikiki, who trust their advice?

  48. This minister confirmed Lungu’s declaration just a few days ago. I responded by expressing surprise that a health minister was indicating ignorance about international body recommendations, human rights and privacy issues. I did state also that this may have been an endorsement by the minister on political expediency grounds rather than an informed and evidenced perspective. Well, here we are and not for the first time we have a PF government that makes un-researched or uneducated pronouncements and then back tracks.

  49. It leaves me to wonder what type of a people Zambians are and who the hell gives advise to Jonathan. In this age and error making policies by decree. No consultation. Sad ZMA president supported this. Disgusting doctors who can’t read and articulate science and ethics.

    • @Chestone, our doctors are also little dictators! They don’t listen to their patients because they know better! The way medicine is practiced in Zambia borders on the criminal…Dr. Chilufya and other medical doctors in government couldn’t see the danger of this policy? Really? Just goes to show that education does not rescue us from fo.olishness!

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