Bangkok – A report from four Asian countries reveals serious gaps in the legal means of protection of the rights of HIV-affected women and girls in health care settings. Human rights violations include discriminatory treatment by medical workers, breaches of confidentiality, forced sterilization and abortions, denial of services and care, and misinformation on standards of care.
[Originally published as a blog post by by Boyan Konstantinov, Atif Khurshid and Vivek Divan on Voices from Eurasia.]
The recent attack on the office and staff of LaSky, an NGO working with Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) communities in St. Petersburg, Russia is a reminder of the grave challenges in ensuring that AIDS responses are free of violence, harassment and discrimination.
Similar attacks have made LaSky close its HIV outreach work in Moscow. While HIV is increasingly considered a chronic condition due to advances in bio-medical science, stigma, hatred and ignorance continue to fuel the epidemic.
The final report of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, HIV and the Law: Risks, Rights & Health, is now available in Mongolian language. The landmark report and its Executive Summary have been translated into several languages, including English, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish, with more to come.
[Originally published as a contribution by Angela Pires Pinto, UNDP Brazil to the UNDP HIV, Health and Development Network News Update.]
"Prejudice and lack of knowledge regarding what AIDS is, this is the real problem", said Mr. Dani Rudnicki, brazilian lawyer, during the series of dialogues on HIV and the Law that are being held in Brazil. On October 29th-30th, the event gathered members of the Judges Association of Rio Grande do Sul, lawyers and activists to discuss the criminalization of HIV transmission.
HIV continues to be one of the greatest public health challenges of our time. As noted in the landmark report, The Global Commission on HIV and the Law: Risks, Rights & Health, HIV is also a crisis of law, human rights and social justice. In the context of recent scientific breakthroughs on HIV prevention and treatment, and the growing epidemic of inequality confounding health and development across the globe, addressing the legal and human rights barriers to effective HIV responses is as important as ever. It is increasingly recognized that protecting the human rights of people living with HIV and key populations is critical to ensuring access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support for all. Members of the judiciary play a crucial role in protecting the rights of people living with HIV, women and girls, as well as the rights of key populations. They also play an important role in ensuring that Member States meet their obligations under international human rights instruments. By interpreting normative standards and by setting important precedents, judges influence social attitudes and shape legal frameworks. In that capacity, they are critical to the realization of a human rights based legal environment for an effective HIV response.