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High-level commission finds an epidemic of bad laws is stifling the global AIDS response
Date:7/9/2012

erty protections that hinder the production of low-cost medicines, especially second-generation treatments, impede access to treatment and prevention.

Enforcing bad laws squanders resources and undermines effective HIV responses

Over the past three decades, scientific breakthroughs and billions of dollars of investments have led to the remarkable expansion of lifesaving HIV prevention and treatment, which has benefited countless individuals, families and communities. Yet, the Commission's report finds that many countries squander resources by enacting and enforcing laws that undermine these critical investments.

"Too many countries waste vital resources by enforcing archaic laws that ignore science and perpetuate stigma," said former President of Brazil Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who chairs the Commission. "Now, more than ever, we have a chance to free future generations from the threat of HIV. We cannot allow injustice and intolerance to undercut this progress, especially in these tough economic times."

Governments must enact laws based on evidence, human rights and public health

The report finds that laws based on public health evidence and human rights can transform the global HIV response. According to the Commission's report, laws and practices rooted in sound public health evidence and human rights exist and such laws and practices must be replicated. To end the epidemic of bad laws and to promote good laws that support effective HIV responses, the Commission urges governments to ban discrimination on the basis of HIV status and to repeal laws that criminalise HIV transmission or non-disclosure of HIV status. The Commission calls on governments to use the law to end the scourge of violence against women and girls and to resist international pressures to prioritise trade over the health of their citizens. The Commission also recommends decriminalising same-sex sexual activity, voluntary sex work
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Contact: Benjamin Humphrey
bhumphrey@globalhealthstrategies.com
212-929-7888 x24
Global Commission on HIV and the Law
Source:Eurekalert

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