Health

KZN traffic officers wrongly conducting HIV tests

Bhekisisa team

KwaZulu-Natal traffic officers have allegedly stopped drivers at the Mooi River Toll plaza on the N3 and forced them to take HIV tests.

A person can not be forced to take a HIV test, according to the Health Professions Council of South Africa's ethical practice. (AFP)

KwaZulu-Natal traffic officers are allegedly stopping drivers at the Mooi River Toll plaza on the N3 and forcing them to take HIV tests, according to a passenger who wishes to remain anonymous.

"We heard the traffic official telling our driver that they wanted to 'test' him and thought it was a breathalyser test they were referring to," the passenger whose driver was forced to take a test on Friday morning, told the Mail & Guardian.

"They took him into a building at the toll. He was told that he had to have a compulsory eye test, cholesterol check and a HIV test. No pre- or post-counselling took place. They then gave him a form indicating his HIV details. At the top of the form it says Provincial Aids Action Unit KZN and it has the Bruntville Community Health Centre stamp," the source said. 

The driver also received a goodie bag consisting of five packets of condoms, a little book of travellers tips, and two pamphlets on overloading and the new Liquor Act.

Ethical practice
A person can not be forced to take a HIV test, according to the Health Professions Council of South Africa's ethical practice.

HIV testing must be voluntary and only performed with the informed consent of an individual. The council says counselling before the test is important in order for the patient to fully understand the impact of the test results.

Kwazulu-Natal transport spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane said the department was not aware of the incident and that traffic officials could not perform cholesterol and HIV tests on motorists.

"What is allowed is for us to test alcohol levels in the blood and an eye test, especially if the licence is issued with no restrictions," said Ncalane.

"The driver must make a formal complaint with the department and the issue will be investigated."

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