IMPLEMENTING THE UNFEASIBLE: Compulsory HIV testing for alleged sexual offenders

  • Stefanie Roehrs University of Cape Town
Keywords: HIV, HIV testing, South Africa, sexual offenders, crime, Criminal Law Amendment Bill, rape


Since being approved by both the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces, it seems likely that the provisions on compulsory HIV testing of alleged sexual offenders will soon be enacted as part of the new Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Bill. Whereas an earlier article (see SA Crime Quarterly 20, 2007), questioned the constitutionality of the provisions, this commentary focuses on the implementation challenges of compulsory HIV testing. Despite good intentions, these provisions will not actually be useful for rape complainants. Instead, the potential exists that rape complainants will be endangered and criminalised. Another concern is the feasibility of compulsory HIV testing, which will place an overwhelming burden on the police, who have neither the resources nor the training to provide such services.

Author Biography

Stefanie Roehrs, University of Cape Town
Gender, Health & Justice Research Unit
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