Bad laws, rights abuses hampering fight against HIV/AIDS
---new report urges govts to act
“An epidemic of bad laws and human rights abuses” are hampering the global response to HIV/AIDS, said findings of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law.
The Global Commission, which released its report on Monday, is an independent group consisting of former heads of state, legal, human rights and HIV experts.
The report comes as battling the HIVAIDS pandemic continues to remain a big challenge around the world. UNAIDS global statistics published in November 2011 showed that people living with HIV/AIDS in 2010 were 34 million, with 22.9 million of them in Sub-Saharan Africa.
According to the United Nations Information Service, the report says while millions of dollars have been invested over the past 30 years to expand lifesaving HIV prevention and treatment, many countries have enacted and enforced laws which undermine this.
A recommendation of the Global commission is that governments follow the leadership of countries, which have enacted laws that help advance effective responses to HIV.
It cited as examples countries that do not criminalize same-sex sexual activity and which treat injecting drug users as patients, not criminals.
The commission is holding an interactive dialogue at the United Nations, with one of the participants being Michel Sidibe, head of the Joing UN Program on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS).
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