Goa Chief Minister Pratapsingh Rane has backed down from his earlier stand and has said HIV tests will be made voluntary before marriage and not compulsory.
"We are planning to enact a law wherein it will be voluntary for the couple to go for the HIV/AIDS tests before marriage", he confirmed at an international seminar on 'Planning and Designing of Healthcare facilities.' "Hippies put Goa on the world tourism map... HIV/AIDS is linked to the tourism." he added that the tourism was being hit by HIV concerns.
Earlier the state had planned to enact legislation to make the HIV/AIDS test before marriage compulsory, but backed down after the local church and NGOs expressed human rights concerns.
"Such testing should not be made compulsory...It should be purely voluntary", the Chief Minister said "The state has adopted holistic approach in the healthcare. We will be introducing tele-medicine facility in the rural areas which will connect the rural centres to the apex hospital providing facilities to the needy."