March 12, 2011
HIV testing is an important part of a comprehensive approach to HIV prevention and treatment, if it is provided in a way that respects basic human rights. However, there is growing evidence from several countries that pregnant women are being tested for HIV without their consent, adequate counseling, or links to HIV services.
In addition, couples are forced to take HIV tests before being allowed to marry; and prisoners, people who use drugs, and sex workers are being forced by police to submit to HIV tests against their will.
Such HIV testing practices are taking place largely without any assessment of the human rights implications, the Open Society Foundations state. They have been documented by researchers and civil society advocates commissioned by OSF in a series of publications:
HIV Testing and Human Rights
- Increasing Access to HIV Testing and Counseling While Respecting Human Rights: A Background Paper
- The Role of Human Rights in Ensuring Universal Access to HIV Testing and Counselling
- WHO Guidance on Provider-Initiated HIV Testing and Counseling in Health Facilities
HIV Testing of Pregnant Women and Couples
- HIV Testing During Pregnancy: A Literature and Policy Review
- Mandatory Premarital HIV Testing: An Overview
- Women and HIV Testing: Policies, Practices, and the Impact on Health and Human Rights
Antiretroviral Therapy for HIV Prevention
- Civil Society Statement on ART as Prevention: Scaling Down HIV Requires Scaling Up Human Rights, Testing, and Treatment
- Global Civil Society Forum on Antiretroviral Therapy for HIV Prevention: A Meeting Report
- Statement of the Johannesburg Civil Society Consultation on ART for Prevention
These publications 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.
Access the publications (OSF website)