SECTION27 is a public interest law centre that seeks to influence, develop and use the law to protect, promote and advance human rights. Our name is drawn from the section in the South African Constitution which enshrines everyone's right to health care, food, water and social security.
The following opinion piece by SECTION27 Senior Researcher Jonathan Berger was published on Health-e and in The Star on 11 March 2011.
For too long the debate about HIV testing and human rights has largely focused on the implications of the former for the latter: how testing has the potential to undermine rights. Given the experiences of many people living with HIV, this is understandable: many have lost – or been denied – jobs; insurance policies have been denied routinely; access to health care services has often been limited.
On 27 February Jonathan Berger, a senior researcher at SECTION27 and head of our policy unit, delivered the 2nd Martin Delaney Lecture at the 18th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Boston.
Fourteen years ago, our freely elected representatives adopted the Constitution – in part – to “free the potential of each person”, “[h]eal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights”.
In July 2007, at the time of the publication of its last 18-month review, the ALP was still in its infancy. It had just re-fashioned itself as an independent not-for-profit organisation, having separated itself from the University of the Witwatersrand, moved offices, registered as a law clinic, complied with a range of corporate law requirements, appointed a Board of Directors, and commenced upon a new organisational life whilst pursuing essentially the same mission.