The impact of routine HIV testing on HIV-related stigma and discrimination in Africa
International Journal of Discrimination and the Law
Community Law Centre, University of Western Cape, South Africa
This paper discusses different methods of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing, particularly routine and voluntary HIV testing methods, which have been adopted in response to the HIV epidemic in Africa. It then examines the importance of HIV testing as a tool for the prevention and treatment of infected and affected persons. The paper argues that although routine HIV testing is important in scaling up HIV testing in Africa, it may not necessarily address HIV-related stigma as contended by some commentators. Rather, it is argued that routine HIV testing, as practised in many African countries, may fuel HIV-related stigma and violate individuals' fundamental rights guaranteed in numerous human rights instruments. In conclusion, the paper cautions that any attempt at adopting routine HIV testing in Africa should be tempered with respect for people's human rights. © 2011 The Author(s).