Blood tests still required before marriage

Although there is a rare possibility for incompatibility between couples due to dissimilar blood groups, a factor known as the ‘Rh’ may be of concern, as women who bear a negative ‘Rh’ factor in their blood may be incompatible with men with a positive ‘Rh’ blood group during child birth, in the sense that it may lead to miscarriages.

This can be tested during regular blood group test. Although medical science has advanced to a level adequate to eliminate these differences, and cornered down incompatibility to a great extent, it is advisable for couples to implement health checks, which may prepare them and their family to know the risk factors and prevent disease.

Blood test should be made compulsory for couples before marriage and for convicts before admission to prisons to prevent transmission of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), according to N. Rajasekharan.s per the World Health Organisation statistics, 42 million people were affected by AIDS in 2002. Every year, there were five million fresh cases.

Three million people died of AIDS in 2003. In India, there were four million HIV/AIDS patients, while in Tamil Nadu, there were 4.50 lakh patients as on date. In Vellore alone, there were 1348 HIV/AIDS-affected persons.

Dr. Kaleemullah said in Tamil Nadu, the highest incidence was recorded in Namakkal district with 1602 cases. A voluntary AIDS testing and counselling centre was functioning in the Government Vellore Medical College Hospital, where one could get oneself tested on payment of Rs.10. Anti Retro-Viral Drugs were administered to pregnant mothers in the GVMCH and the taluk headquarters hospital at Gudiyatham to prevent transmission of HIV from mother to child.

Premarital blood tests check both partners for venereal disease or rubella (measles). The tests may also disclose the presence of genetic disorders such as sickle-cell anemia or Tay-Sachs disease. You will not be tested for HIV, but in some states, the person who tests you will provide you with information about HIV and AIDS. In most states, blood tests can be waived for people over 50 and for other reasons, including pregnancy or sterility.

If either partner tests positive for a venereal disease, what happens depends on the state where you are marrying. Some states may refuse to issue you a marriage license. Other states may allow you to marry as long as you both know that the disease is present.

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