MEDIA ADVISORY: ZIMBABWEAN CONSTITUTIONAL COURT TO DECIDE ON THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF HIV STATUS

Salc : Staff Writer

Harare–On Wednesday 11 February 2015, the Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe will hear arguments on a case concerning an HIV-positive nurse who is taking her employer to court for violating her confidentiality and dismissing her because of her HIV-status.

“Discrimination against HIV-positive women like the applicant is rife in Zimbabwe. This case is putting the new protections of the Constitution to work for women and workers living with HIV,” says Slyvia Chirawu, the National Director of Women and Law in Southern Africa (WLSA), which is assisting the applicant.

What:              The Zimbabwe Constitutional Court will hear argument in a case about the rights HIV-positive employees in M v St Anne’s Hospital and Others

Where:           Constitutional Court, Harare, Zimbabwe

When:            09:30am, Wednesday, 11 February 2015

The applicant is an HIV-positive nurse and single mother. She alleges that her employer unlawfully forced her to disclose her HIV-status and dismissed her because of her status. She argues that her employer’s conduct violated her constitutional rights to privacy and not to have her health status disclosed, to human dignity, and to freedom from inhuman and degrading treatment. Her employer denies that it forced her to disclose her HIV-status or that it violated her rights.

“HIV-positive workers have the right not to be forced to disclose their HIV-status and not to be dismissed because of their status. These are important protections, particularly for women living with HIV who are especially vulnerable to the consequences of discrimination,” says Annabel Raw, HIV Project Lawyer from the Southern Africa Litigation Centre, which is assisting in the case.

The applicant is represented by Advocate Fadzai Mahere and Kwenda and Associates Attorneys.

PLEASE NOTE: The applicant requests that her name and identity not be disclosed in the media to protect her from further disclosure of her HIV-status.

For more information:

Slyvia Chirawu (National Director) Women and Law in Southern Africa, Zimbabwe (WLSA) Tel +263 4 253001/2/3 or 2928337; Direct line 252884; Cell 0772314904 or 0734141897; Email: sly@wlsazim.co.zw; schirawu@yahoo.com.

Annabel Raw (HIV/AIDS Project Lawyer) Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) Tel: +27 (0)10 596 8538; Cell: +27 82 349 5825; Email: AnnabelR@salc.org.za.

For Twitter updates: @Follow_SALC #StAnnes

For background on the case: https://www.southernafricalitigationcentre.org/cases/ongoing-cases/zimbabwe-addressing-hiv-discrimination-in-employment/