Passing of the AIDS Prevention Bill, which demands the notification of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) carriers, seems imminent in Japan. Its effect on people's willingness to be tested for the HIV antibody was assessed among heterosexual subjects (students, office workers) and groups at high risk of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) (prostitutes, homosexual males) by means of a questionnaire. More than 70% of the 811 students and 509 workers replied that, if notification became mandatory, they would agree to be tested but 10% of the males and 17% of the females in these two groups would prefer testing at institutes not complying with the clause; all 198 prostitutes said that they would be prepared to undergo testing but 35% of them would prefer to go to non-complying clinics; 45% (410) of 902 homosexual males replied that they would refuse testing, and 65% of those who would agree to be tested (492) would prefer to go to non-complying clinics. These findings strongly suggest that when the bill is passed the greater the self-perceived risk of HIV infection the poorer will be the uptake of AIDS testing. Hence the bill would be counterproductive in the surveillance of potential HIV carriers.
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