1. In a legal victory, BONELA announces the outcome of a precedent setting case against a local newspaper wherein the High Court has ruled against the unlawful disclosure of an individual’s HIV status without their consent.  This victory was fortified by the exceptional legal representation provided by BONELA. .
  • Client recounted how she vehemently declined to consent to the publication of her life as a person living with HIV, yet the journalist persisted, making multiple follow-up calls in an attempt to persuade her. Despite the journalist’s claim that obtaining written consent was not their standard procedure, she ultimately admitted that matters concerning the disclosure of HIV status require exceptional treatment. During cross-examination, the journalist failed to provide any evidence of obtaining consent. The court rightfully recognized the gravity of the situation and declared that disclosing someone’s HIV status without their consent is unlawful.
  • The judgment underscores the fundamental principle that the disclosure of a person’s HIV status without their explicit consent is unlawful and constitutes a violation of their rights to privacy and dignity. This case reaffirms the importance of respecting individuals’ confidentiality regarding their health status, particularly in cases where stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS persist.
  • This case serves as an illustration of a larger societal issue, where many individuals are having their HIV statuses disclosed without their consent, often in the form of jokes on social media or as a retaliatory measure following a breakup with an HIV-positive partner. Such actions are not only morally reprehensible but are also unlawful. The deliberate disclosure of someone’s HIV status without their consent constitutes a violation of their right to privacy and dignity. The prevalence of these violations underscores the urgent need for increased awareness and enforcement of existing laws protecting the privacy of individuals living with HIV/AIDS.
  • As an organization dedicated to upholding the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS, BONELA condemns these actions in the strongest possible terms. We emphasize that HIV status is a deeply personal and sensitive matter and individuals have the absolute right to control the disclosure of their status.

For further inquiries or interviews, please contact:

Leungo Kgwaneng
Legal Officer
Cell: 267 71340 8000