UN: AIDS epidemic driven by human rights violations News
UN: AIDS epidemic driven by human rights violations

A group of UN independent human rights experts said [press release] Friday that human rights violations contribute to the spread of HIV/AIDS. The Special Rapporteurs on the right to health Dainius Pῡras, human rights defenders Michel Forst, extreme poverty,Philip Alston and violence against women Dubravka Šimonović; and the Chairperson of the UN Working Group on Discrimination against women Frances Raday urged governments to remove punitive laws and policies that block key populations’ access to health services, goods and information. The statement was released prior a high-level meeting on ending AIDS by 2030. The statement went on to indicate that such laws and regulations impede highly-vulnerable groups from the health goods and services that are critical to the prevention and treatment of HIV.

Human rights continue to be an important issue, especially as regards to discrimination against those who have HIV. Last month California’s governor signed Senate Bill 1408 [text] into law, allowing HIV-positive individuals to become transplant donors to HIV-positive recipients [JURIST report]. In 2015 President Barack Obama issued executive order 13703 [JURIST documents] “Implementing the National HIV/AIDS Strategy,” which was intended to ensure successful implementation of the the updated national AIDS/HIV strategy. In 2013 the Alabama Department of Corrections [official website] announced an end to its policy of segregating HIV-positive inmates at Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women [JURIST report]. In 2010 Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] urged the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) [official website] to stop automatically segregating [press release] HIV-positive inmates [JURIST report].