HIV Testing and Human Rights: Resources and Fact Sheets
Open Society Foundations
Voluntary and confidential HIV testing is a cornerstone of the fight against AIDS. In order to truly be effective, efforts to scale up HIV testing must also respect and protect human rights. Testing should always be done in connection with programs that provide people who test positive with treatment, care, and support. Governments, health care providers, and program implementers should create a positive environment that protects people who are HIV positive from stigma, discrimination, and other negative consequences.
However, in a growing number of countries, pregnant women are routinely tested for HIV without their explicit consent, couples are required to take HIV tests before being allowed to marry, and prisoners, people who use drugs, and sex workers are forced by law enforcement to submit to HIV tests.
Mandatory HIV testing is taking place largely without any assessment of the human rights implications. To address these trends, the Open Society Foundations are supporting researchers and civil society advocates to examine and document the impact of HIV testing policies and practices, and to advocate for methods that respect human rights and improve health outcomes.
The publications below look at UNAIDS and WHO guidance on HIV testing, as well as local and international laws, and provide information on the impact of HIV testing policies on women and marginalized groups.
HIV Testing and Human Rights
HIV Testing of Pregnant Women and Couples
Antiretroviral Therapy for HIV Prevention
HIV Testing During PregnancyJuly 2008This background paper prepared for the Open Society Foundations reviews the extent to which HIV testing approaches in 19 countries consider the safety and human rights of pregnant women. Mandatory Premarital HIV Testing: An OverviewMay 2010A growing number of governments and religious communities require HIV tests before allowing couples to marry. This booklet examines how mandatory premarital HIV tests infringe on the human rights of people living with HIV and are out of line with public health guidelines. Civil Society Statement on ART as PreventionNovember 2009Hundreds of human rights and HIV/AIDS organizations worldwide signed on to this joint statement in response to a WHO proposal to scale up antiretroviral treatment in order to stem the spread of HIV.