n Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine - The ethics and legality of traditional healers performing HIV testing : opinion

Volume 9, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1608-9693
  • E-ISSN: 2078-6751



International guidelines on HIV testing stipulate that only certified persons should perform HIV testing. Current South African policy does not stipulate who may perform an HIV test and is silent on an HIV tester certification process. Despite contradictions in national guidelines and policies on who may perform HIV testing, draft regulations allow for designated professionals and a 'competent person' to draw blood. While traditional health practitioners may be deemed competent persons, they are forbidden from performing such procedures by their governing statute. Accordingly, while it could be argued that it is ethically permissible for traditional health practitioners to perform HIV testing provided such persons are appropriately trained and certified, the performance of such procedures by such persons may have legal implications.

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