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Legal fraternity slam AIDS test policy

Malawi's legal fraternity has criticised the decision by a local church to implement a mandatory HIV testing policy for couples wanting to get married.

The Living Waters [Pentecostal] Church issued the statement on Thursday, saying it had already declared pregnancy tests compulsory before a couple could marry.

However, the Malawi Law Society said the church policy would contravene the country's constitution.

The Associated Press agency quoted a member of the law society, Charles Mhango, as saying: "This is discrimination of the highest order. No one should be discriminated against on the basis of health and, legally, getting married is a human right."

The church defended its decision by saying it already advised couples to take HIV tests before getting married to "protect their futures".

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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