As a Delegation, our decision not to bring forward the full scope of our recommendations in our NGO Report at the 29th PCB in December was in part due to the development of the report by the Commission on HIV and the Law. We saw this report as a key document to reinforce the correlation between the legal environment and access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.
It is disheartening that we have not seen the report document containing key recommendations on creating legal environments that enable access to all people living with and at risk for HIV, as it is so timely and relevant to our discussions.
The NGO Delegation, along with our diverse array of constituents, would have liked this board to be able to take forward UNAIDS’ own policy guidance calling for the repeal of HIV-specific laws that criminalize HIV non-disclosure, exposure or transmission.
While we note with appreciation the recommendations in the follow-up paper, we acknowledge the limited scope of the recommendations and would like to offer ways of strengthening them.
In relation to States’ responsibilities, we endorse the first recommendation proposed.
In relation to legal audits we consider it necessary to express more clearly that States will develop them with the broad participation of civil society and clarify the intent of those legal audits. The audits should be used to modify or repeal laws that maintain or increase discrimination and stigma of people living with or affected by HIV, as well as put in place laws and policies that protect the rights of people infected and/or affected by HIV.
Conduct legal audits to assess the impact of laws, law enforcement and access to justice in the context of HIV, with a view to improve these three components so that they support universal access and HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.
ii. conduct legal audits with the broad participation of CS and PLHIV to assess the impact of laws, law enforcement and access to justice in the context of HIV, with the objective of improving these three components so that they support Universal access for all people, and working to eliminate laws that deny or hinder the ability of all persons to access HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services
We also consider it necessary to separate the third recommendation in order to give more adequate attention to the issue of gender equity. The implementation of programs to support police, judges, lawyers, parliamentarians and religious leaders will include also governmental authorities and personnel in order for the programs and legal norms to be well implemented and interpreted, eliminating all forms of stigma and discrimination related to HIV.