Should HIV be a notifiable disease? Old questions with some new arguments

W D F Venter, Andrew Black, Lucy Allias, Marlise Richter


HIV notification enters national debate regularly, often introduced by politicians and supported by many individual healthcare workers. We argue that its proponents advance confused or poorly informed rationales for making HIV notifiable. We present reasons why making HIV notifiable would be inappropriate in South Africa, why the public health benefits of a notification programme are not even likely, and why there are risks of public health and human rights harms.

Authors' affiliations

W D F Venter, Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute (RHI), Johannesburg, South Africa; School of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

Andrew Black, Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute, Johannesburg, South Africa

Lucy Allias, Professor of Philosophy and Director, Wits Centre for Ethics, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; senior lecturer, Sussex University, UK

Marlise Richter, Sonke Gender Justice; African Centre for Migration and Society, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Full Text



Notification; HIV

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2014;104(9):607-609. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.8468

Article History

Date submitted: 2014-05-16
Date published: 2014-06-20

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