Newsfeed : South Africa’s Plan for Mandatory HIV Testing Raises Human Rights Concerns

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join

Back to home » Newsfeed » September 2009

Most Popular Links
Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

20 Years Ago In POZ

More News

Click here for more news

Have news about HIV? Send press releases, news tips and other announcements to


September 21, 2009

South Africa’s Plan for Mandatory HIV Testing Raises Human Rights Concerns

Human rights advocates argue that making HIV testing mandatory in South Africa would breach patients’ human rights, the Daily Mail reports. Officials had proposed that everyone be tested for HIV automatically during a routine doctor’s visit.

According to the article, Western Cape health minister Theuns Botha said mandatory testing would be a “major onslaught” on AIDS in South Africa, which has the largest number of people living with HIV in the world. However, South Africa’s human rights commission said that forcing patients to take the test would be illegal because it violates their right to privacy. 

Other experts are afraid the plan will cause people to avoid going to the doctor altogether. “In spite of our attempts to normalize HIV/AIDS, it is a terrifying disease,” said Mark Heywood, a spokesman for AIDS Law Project, a human rights group that advocates on behalf of HIV-positive people in South Africa and around the world. “With HIV testing, there has to be informed consent. People have to understand what they are being tested for and then give permission. It implies a level of counseling, whether it is for two minutes or even half an hour.”

Up to 6 million people are HIV positive in South Africa, which is about 17 percent of the population. However, only 63,000 of them have access to antiretroviral treatment.

Search: mandatory testing, South Africa, routine, Western cape,

Scroll down to comment on this story.


(will display; 2-50 characters)


(will NOT display)


(will display; optional)

Comment (500 characters left):

(Note: The POZ team reviews all comments before they are posted. Please do not include either ":" or "@" in your comment. The opinions expressed by people providing comments are theirs alone. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Smart + Strong, which is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by people providing comments.)

Comments require captcha.
Please enter this number for verification:

| Posting Rules

Show comments (1 total)

[Go to top]

Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr Instagram
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
HIV 101
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Help Paying for Meds
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ Opinion
POZ Exclusives
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Job Listings
Events Calendar
POZ on Twitter

Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Did you participate in an event for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2016?


more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2016 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.