Setting an example, all members of the Andhra Pradesh legislative assembly will undergo tests to screen for AIDS.
Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy, Speaker K. R. Suresh Reddy, Health Minister K. Rosaiah and leaders of various political parties Monday underwent HIV tests at a medical camp held for legislators in the assembly premises.
The chief minister said all 295 members of state assembly should undergo the tests to set an example for others. "It is the responsibility of every citizen to contribute his mite to prevention of the dreaded disease and the legislators should set an example by undergoing the HIV test," he said.
Rajasekhara Reddy said every man and woman should undergo the test before marriage to check the spread of the disease. He said this was necessary to ensure that no child is born with the life-threatening disease in future.
The state government is contemplating legislation to make it mandatory for men and women to undergo HIV/AIDS tests before marriage.
The chief minister had recently asked the health department officials to conduct workshops involving NGOs to arrive at a consensus before making the test mandatory before marriage and birth of a baby.
Andhra Pradesh is one of the six high HIV/AIDS prevalent states in the country. An estimated 1.5 million people in the state are estimated to be living with the virus.