• Germany edition
 
State considers forced HIV and hepatitis tests
Photo: DPA

State considers forced HIV and hepatitis tests

Published: 30 Nov 2012 15:52 GMT+01:00
Updated: 30 Nov 2012 15:52 GMT+01:00

The provision, included in a new state law being considered on public safety and security, is supposed to protect people such as police officers and emergency medical technicians whose jobs include a particularly high rate of infection, , officials said.

State interior ministry officials denied an earlier report in the regional newspaper Mittledeutsche Zeitung, that the law would target people in specific risk groups, such as homosexuals, drug abusers, the homeless, and foreigners.

"That is false," state Interior Ministry spokesman Michael Kraska told The Local.

His office argues that several other German states, including Hamburg and Hesse, already have such provisions in effect. "We're a normal state," he said.

The provision would enable for example, an emergency medical technician accidentally stuck by a needle from someone thought to be infected with HIV or hepatitis, to ask a judge to force that person to be tested. That judicial approval could come quickly over the phone, Kraska said.

Until now the person suspected of having HIV or hepatitis would have to agree to such a test.

Current news on the measure provoked outrage in gay and lesbian and AIDS relief circles - just a day before international World AIDS day, December 1.

Markus Ulrich, of the Lesbian and Gay Federation of Germany (LSVD), said in a statement: "In the opinion of the LSVD, the planned forced HIV test is a completely unnecessary stigmatization of groups of people, without any medical benefit. It abets discrimination, of all things, one day before World AIDS day."

He said the forced tests were based on irrational fears and prejudices, and that the federal Interior Ministry had questioned their constitutionality. And he pointed to figures from the Robert Koch Institute, which show that 0.05 percent of the population in Saxony-Anhalt was HIV positive.

The measure is currently being considered by a state parliamentary committee, where it can be discussed and debated, according to the state Interior Ministry. The ministry argues that the state's law regulating police conduct was one of the few in Germany with an explicit ban on discrimination based on sexual identity.

The Local/mbw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

19:48 November 30, 2012 by Englishted
Oh dear a big payday coming for human rights lawyers.

This will never ever pass the European court of H.R. but will keep the gravy train running for a few years till it gets there.
22:17 November 30, 2012 by zeddriver
But I thought Europe was about government intrusion (the nanny state) and was supported by most. After all. It's all about health and safety. Sure. A few rights and privies might be forfeited. But. It's for the protection of everyone.

Imagine. The LSVD taking the same view as those redneck Americans that don't want the government intruding in their lives and just want to be left alone.
23:05 December 1, 2012 by bwjijsdtd
1933 - 1945 all over again ... REMEMBER ...
02:00 December 3, 2012 by Onlythetruth
Sure, test people who are a danger to the people charged with trying to cope with their dangerous behavior. The law should spell out exactly what behavior would mandate the tests.
Today's headlines
Stakes rise in Oracle-SAP copyright fight
Photo: DPA

Stakes rise in Oracle-SAP copyright fight

US appeals court on Friday ruled that Oracle be given a choice between $356.7 million or a new trial for its copyright lawsuit against German rival SAP. READ  

Court rules against child porn suspect Edathy
Former SPD MP Sebastian Edathy photographed at a press conference in February. Photo: DPA

Court rules against child porn suspect Edathy

The Constitutional Court on Friday rejected an attempt by former Social Democratic (SPD) MP Sebastian Edathy to have evidence against him thrown out in his trial for possession of child pornography. READ  

Student busted in case of misdelivered hash
Photo: DPA

Student busted in case of misdelivered hash

A Bavarian student expecting a cannabis delivery was collared by "Commissioner Fluke" after acting surprised in front of policemen when he saw his letter box was empty. READ  

Security fears block Germany-Israel match
German and Israeli fans cheer in the stands during a friendly in Leipzig in 2012. Photo: DPA

Security fears block Germany-Israel match

A friendly soccer match against Israel marking 50 years of diplomatic ties has been called off amid security concerns and the escalation of the Middle East conflict, the German Football Federation (DFB) said on Friday. READ  

Germany's brain drain is Europe's gain
Inside the terminal at the Frankfurt International Airport. Photo: Shutterstock

Germany's brain drain is Europe's gain

Figures from the European Union show that while many German professionals are able to find work abroad with their well-recognised qualifications, Germany doesn't always extend the same courtesy to foreigners. READ  

S-Bahn arson in support of refugees, group claims
Passengers at Berlin's Ostkreuz station yesterday as information screens relay news of the disruption. Photo: DPA

S-Bahn arson in support of refugees, group claims

A radical left-wing group claimed responsibility on Friday for an arson attack that cut power to several S-Bahn lines and caused transport chaos in Berlin, saying it was intended to awaken people to the plight of refugees. READ  

Pilots' strike over, but disruption continues
Passengers in Hannover check departure boards showing cancelled Germanwings flights. Photo: DPA

Pilots' strike over, but disruption continues

UPDATE: Germanwings pilots have ended their six-hour strike which grounded 116 flights and up to 15,000 passengers of Lufthansa subsidiary Germanwings on Friday. READ  

Man narrowly escapes unwelcome drop-in
Emergency services use a crane to lift the fallen crane in Cologne. Photo: DPA

Man narrowly escapes unwelcome drop-in

A Cologne resident was pinned to his bed after a 40-metre construction crane toppled onto his home early on Friday. READ  

'Further sanctions' could hit Russia, says Merkel
Merkel looking grave at Thursday's West Balkan conference in Berlin. Photo: DPA

'Further sanctions' could hit Russia, says Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday that European leaders will discuss the worsening Ukraine crisis and possible further sanctions against Russia at a weekend summit. READ  

UK-Germany rivalries live again in Champs League
Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm with fellow World Cup champion Bastian Schweinsteiger. Photo: DPA

UK-Germany rivalries live again in Champs League

The 2014-15 Champions League draw yesterday brought déjà-vu for English and German clubs as old opponents found themselves facing off once again. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten of the oddest things found by German border control
Photo: Gerkan, Marg and Partners/Tegel Projekt GmbH/J. Mayer
Berlin
How will Berlin look in five years' time?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The best of Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit in 14 pictures
Photo: DPA
Politics
Germany sends burgers and sausages to Kurds
Photo: Matthias Kock
National
Tribes, ties and a movie: A German's Afghan life
Photo: DPA
Gallery
10 things to do before summer in Germany is really over
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,482
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd