• Germany's news in English
 

State considers forced HIV and hepatitis tests

Published: 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)

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
Arsonists hit pro-refugee art project
The burnt ruins of the art project. Photo: DPA

Arsonists hit pro-refugee art project

An art installation dedicated to refugees was burnt down in Berlin early on Tuesday, with police suspecting it to be an arson attack. READ  

Hurricane Niklas
Storm Niklas kills at least three, stops trains
This train in Lower Saxony had to stop after striking a fallen tree. Photo: DPA

Storm Niklas kills at least three, stops trains

Hurricane “Niklas” has reportedly claimed three victims, while trains have been cancelled across Germany as the storm rages. READ  

Stuttgart worst city for traffic jams
Photo: DPA

Stuttgart worst city for traffic jams

GPS company TomTom released data on Tuesday showing which cities have the worst traffic problems. The conclusion: Stuttgart is Germany's worst city for commuters. READ  

Alps Plane Crash
Lufthansa cancels 60th jubilee celebration
Photo: DPA

Lufthansa cancels 60th jubilee celebration

Germany's national airline Lufthansa announced on Tuesday that it would cancel celebrations for the 60th anniversary of its founding in 1955. READ  

Alps Plane Crash
Doctors warn against snap crash reaction

Doctors warn against snap crash reaction

The president of Germany's Council of Psychotherapists said on Tuesday that there was no reason why the country should loosen its rules on doctor-patient confidentiality in the wake of the Germanwings crash. READ  

Merkel urges Germans: Give Greece a chance
Chancellor Merkel speaking in Helsinki. Photo: DPA

Merkel urges Germans: Give Greece a chance

On a visit to Helsinki on Monday, Chancellor Angela Merkel showed a patient side to the German government as the Eurozone continues to wait for a new list of economic reforms from Greece. READ  

Unemployment at new post-unification low
Photo: DPA

Unemployment at new post-unification low

German unemployment fell in March to the lowest level since the country reunited in 1990 as growth in Europe's biggest economy continues to pick up, official data showed on Tuesday. READ  

Trabi project aims to electrify 'Ostalgia'
A Trabant being converted into an E-car. Photo: DPA

Trabi project aims to electrify 'Ostalgia'

Its chuntering motor and belching exhaust once heralded the coming of the communist utopia. Now the east German 'Trabi' is leading a new revolution, and this time you won't hear it coming. READ  

Gun maker denies problems with army rifles
A German soldier aims a G36 rifle. Photo: DPA

Gun maker denies problems with army rifles

Update: Weapons manufacturer Heckler & Koch denied on Monday evening that the G36 rifles it supplied to the Bundeswehr (German army) lose their accuracy when they are too hot. READ  

Germany, France, Italy want Euro drones
An American Reaper drone. Photo: DPA

Germany, France, Italy want Euro drones

Germany, France and Italy plan to push forward with plans for a European-made military drone, the German government told MPs on Monday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Sponsored Article
Expert US tax preparation for Americans in Germany
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Travel
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Photo: Police
Rhineland
Student driver crashes tank into family garden.
Photo: DPA
Politics
There was a notable absence at the Anti-Semitism Commission
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Take a cute break with this gallery of baby animals
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
All you ever needed to know about Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
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

6,999
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd