On 6 December 2012, UNDP in partnership with the International HIV/AIDS Alliance and the United Kingdom All Party Parliamentary Group on AIDS launched the Report of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, 'HIV and the Law: Risks, Rights & Health', at the House of Commons in London.
In a move significant to the global AIDS response and the implementation of the recommendations of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, on 19 December 2012, Heads of Government of Commonwealth countries completed the process of agreeing to and adopting recommendations of the October 2011 Report of the Eminent Persons Group, ‘A Commonwealth of the People: Time for Urgent Report’.
At present 32 states and two territories within the United States have HIV-specific criminal laws in place. Convictions under these laws can result in prison sentences, being listed on public sex offender registries, and in some cases negative implications regarding employment, housing and even the right to vote. Bringing these issues to the forefront, the ‘United States National Dialogue on the Criminalization of HIV Transmission, Exposure & Non-disclosure: The Role of States & the Federal Government’ took place on 4 December 2012 in Washington DC. The US National Dialogue was a direct follow up to the High Income Countries Dialogue of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, held in September 2011 in Oakland, California and the release of the report of the Global Commission on HIV and the law in July 2012.
Originally published as a Blog post by Ernesto Kraus, UNDP on the HIV, Health and Development-Net (UNDP), 10 December 2012
According to the 2012 UNAIDS Global Report on the AIDS Epidemic, globally 34 million people are living with HIV, 7,400 new infections occur each day and 1.7 million people died from AIDS-related causes in 2011. 123 States have legislation against discrimination on HIV. 112 have protection for vulnerable populations, but these laws are often ignored, and in 63 countries transmission is criminalized, especially through sex.
UNDP Regional Service Centre for Eastern and Southern Africa organised a regional meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa (24-25 October 2012) which was attended by 60 key stakeholders from national governments, civil society organisations and UN agencies from 16 different countries, to discuss key findings and recommendations from the Global Commission's report. The regional meeting focused on priorities for the African Region with a view to support countries to strengthen their legal and regulatory environments for effective HIV responses. Taking forward the recommendations of the meeting, UNDP in partnership with KELIN, UNAIDS and NEPHAK, held the first national symposium on HIV, Law and Human Rights in Nairobi (30-31 October 2012).