HIV testing raises numerous human rights issues. When a test for HIV was first developed, there were calls for compulsory testing and quarantine of those testing positive. Ever since, political, technological and medical developments in testing for HIV and treating HIV infection have continued to raise serious legal and ethical questions.

Human rights law requires that HIV testing include:

  • informed consent;
  • pre- and post-test counselling; and
  • guaranteed confidentiality of test results.

These elements are crucial to the success of HIV testing as a public health measure to reduce HIV transmission and to provide care, treatment and support for people who test HIV-positive.

We work on numerous legal and human rights dimensions of HIV testing, including:

  • access to anonymous HIV testing;
  • HIV testing and immigration policy;
  • rapid HIV testing;
  • home testing for HIV and access to HIV testing outside health care settings;
  • testing within Aboriginal communities in Canada;
  • routine testing of women during pregnancy and testing of newborns;
  • testing of specific populations such as prisoners, sex workers, military personnel; and
  • forced testing in instances of occupational or non-occupational exposure to HIV.

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Respect. Protect. Fulfill. You can help challenge wrongs, advance rights, and transform lives. Denied basic healthcare. Criminalized and vilified for love. Unfairly targeted by police. These abuses, and more, are too often the experience of people living with HIV and of communities affected by HIV. At the HIV Legal Network, our mission has always been … Read more

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