Informed Consent for HIV Testing

All pathology testing requires informed consent, given verbally. Informed consent includes that the person being tested understands:

  • the type of test
  • the reasons for testing
  • the potential implications of not being tested.

Using their professional judgment, clinicians can:

  • explain the testing procedure
  • assess the person’s understanding of the HIV test results
  • inform the person being tested about how they will get their results (note: clinicians should ensure that they confirm the patient’s phone number)

See section Mandatory and compulsory screening and testing (located in chapter: Indications for HIV Testing) for rare occasions when a legal order is made for compulsory testing or in emergency settings.

When offering testing to patients with low English proficiency, clinicians who do not speak the preferred language of the patient should use an accredited interpreter obtain informed consent. There are publicly funded health interpreting services available in most states and territories.  The Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) is available to registered health services 24 hours a day. TEL: 1300 131 450.