POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE? Compulsory HIV testing of alleged sexual offenders

  • Stefanie Roehrs University of Cape Town
Keywords: HIV, AIDS, HIV testing, sexual offenders, rights, victims


Since 2003 the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development has deliberated on legislation providing for the compulsory HIV testing of accused sexual offenders. After having been approved by the National Assembly and submitted to the National Council of Provinces in May 2007, it seems likely that compulsory HIV testing of alleged sexual offenders will be enacted as part of the new sexual offences legislation. This article describes the development and content of the provisions on compulsory HIV testing and examines their practical utility against the background of the alleged offender’s constitutional rights. It is argued that these provisions are unlikely to provide the relief sought by victims, and may result in an unconstitutional limitation of an accused’s right to privacy.

Author Biography

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