Nigerian university which has imposed compulsory HIV testing for its graduates

Taken from BBC News – Aug 20, 2007

“The National Universities Commission (NUC) says it has summoned the leadership of Covenant University to explain its controversial policy.

“We are trying to find out if it’s true that students are being tested for HIV and pregnancy,” an Nuc spokesman said.

Nigeria’s AIDS control agency says the new policy is illegal.

But the Covenant University says its policy had been misunderstood by the media.

“We are not testing our students for HIV,” Covenant University spokesman Emmanuel Igban told the BBC News website.

“What we do is a general medical test at the point of entry or admission and at graduation.”

The university says it wants to produce “total graduates” which means in addition to passing all examinations, Covenant University graduates must be “morally upright” too.

The National Agency for the Control of Aids (Naca) calls the university’s action “a breach of the fundamental human rights of the students.”

So this is what I want to know…
Does this mean that the University may be saying that if students have HIV or are pregnant they are not “morally upright”?  How can a medical test determine morality?   Very sad…I hope it’s all a misunderstanding.

6 Responses to “Nigerian university which has imposed compulsory HIV testing for its graduates”

  1. August 20, 2007 at 5:38 pm

    So testing and knowledge are bad? I’d say, given the 6% infection rate in Nigeria, that morally upright might better be described as intelligent.

  2. August 20, 2007 at 5:49 pm

    I asked if the test shows morality. Of course I think people should be tested, :). However, I don’t want people who test positive to be classified as “immoral” based on the reason behind the testing.

    The article notes that they want “to produce “total graduates” which means in addition to passing all examinations, Covenant University graduates must be “morally upright” too.” Testing is great, necessary, and needed. However, they should test for the good of people, not so that testing can be used to judge the moral and immoral. Having HIV doesn’t make you immoral, just as being pregnant doesn’t.

    So I agree with you that testing is the morally upright thing to do, but producing more stigma in Africa for those with HIV isn’t.

  3. August 20, 2007 at 6:18 pm

    Here’s the rub – CU is a Christian Mission University. Anyone who wants to go there must adhere to the universities policies, which are notentirely secular. Even non-christian students must attend chapel services.

    I would say that, under the umbrella of “christian” morality, testing positive for HIV wouldn’t make someone immoral but would be a reasonble indicator of immoral behavior.

    I don’t subscribe to that view myself, but understand that a private mission univerisity has the right to have their opinions.

  4. August 20, 2007 at 6:39 pm

    Example: A married woman who is attending that university could contract HIV from her husband. By that view, she being positive would be seen as immoral.

    How would testing accurately be an indicator of the wife’s morality in that case? She is being a wife, having sex with her husband…is the marriage bed is undefiled?

    I don’t subscribe to that view either…but yes this is a private university and they will govern themselves.

  5. August 20, 2007 at 7:27 pm

    You make a very valid point about the wife – though the same could easily be true of a husband; we haven’t cornered the market on infidelity.

    Go to their website; they’re actually kind of scary. I wouldn’t go there, nor would I send my children.

  6. 6 Geebee
    September 5, 2008 at 11:39 am

    It is a shame that a university thinks that HIV is all about SEX. Virgins have been known to contact HIV. Babies and Children have been known to contact HIV. Doctors and patients have contacted HIV via blood and body fluid contacts. People have picked HIV from dentists and barbers etc.

    It is indeed a shame if a Univeristy thinks HIV means immoral behaviour!

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