Having noted amendment no. 9 voted in by the Senate on October 6, making the HIV test compulsory for all patients suffering from progressive tuberculosis, the French Agency for the Fight against AIDS (AFLS) and the National AIDS Council wish to draw attention to the following : where there is as yet no vaccine or curative treatment for a disease, only a policy of prevention founded on personal responsibility can be effective.
Moreover, the NAC and AFLS restate the positions previously adopted by them on screening (NAC Opinion of December 18, 1991) : Any screening of a purely obligatory nature is counter-productive because it destroys the relationship of trust between patient and doctor.
Testing can be useful only when linked to the voluntary adoption by each individual of behaviour focused on prevention.
Note : amendment no. 9 was passed on October 26, 1993, as part of the Senate’s scrutiny of a bill on public health and social welfare. During the debate, Mr. Douste-Blazy, the Minister with delegated responsibility for health, indicated that he was totally opposed to the inclusion of this obligation in the statute as a measure which he felt was “contrary to all medical practice, and unjustified”.
The members of the Council debated this issue in plenary session on November 15, 1993, taking the opportunity to reiterate the Council’s position, which is one of strict opposition to mandatory screening. Mr. Debré, member of parliament for Indre-et-Loire, undertook to defend this position in the Assemblée Nationale.
The Assemblée Nationale voted to reject the amendment.