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close this bookHandbook for Legislators on HIV/AIDS, Law and Human Rights - Action to Combat HIV/AIDS in view of its Devastating Human, Economic and Social Impact (UNAIDS, 1999, 152 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
close this folderCONTENT
View the documentForeword
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentEXECUTIVE SUMMARY
close this folderI. INTRODUCTION
View the document(i) Gravity of the Global Problem
View the document(ii) Impact on Development
View the document(iii) Purpose of this Handbook
close this folderII. BACKGROUND
View the document(i) Windhoek IPU Resolution on HIV/AIDS
close this folder(ii) Issues for Parliamentarians
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentExamples of regional and national initiatives
close this folder(iii) HIV/AIDS Law, Policy and Human Rights -International Guidelines
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentCompliance with international obligations
View the documentExceptions
View the document(introduction...)
close this folder(A) Institutional Responsibilities and Processes
close this folderGuideline 1: National framework
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentInterministerial committees
View the documentParliamentary committees on hiv/aids
View the documentMultisectoral advisory bodies
View the documentLocal level activities: Decentralization case study
close this folderGuideline 2: Supporting community partnership
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentPartnership approach
View the documentCase studies
close this folder(B) Law Review, Reform and Support Services
View the document(introduction...)
close this folderGuideline 3: Public health legislation
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentNational examples of reform
View the documentVoluntary testing and informed consent
View the documentNotification of coded information
View the documentPartner notification
View the documentDetention or isolation/quarantine
View the documentBlood safety
View the documentInfection control
close this folderGuideline 4: Criminal laws and correctional systems
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentTransmission/exposure offences
View the documentNeedle and syringe exchanges
View the documentSexual acts
View the documentSex work or prostitution
View the documentPrisons
close this folderGuideline 5: Antidiscrimination and protective laws
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentAntidiscrimination legislation
View the documentDiscriminatory impact of laws affecting vulnerable populations
View the documentPrivacy
View the documentEmployment law
close this folderGuideline 6: Regulation of goods, services and information
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentRegulation of therapeutic goods and services
View the documentEthical research
View the documentRights of education and information
View the documentFreedoms of expression and association
View the documentGuideline 7: Legal support services
close this folder(C) Promotion of a Supportive and Enabling Environment
close this folderGuideline 8: Women, children and other vulnerable groups
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentGender and reproductive rights
View the documentChildren and young people
View the documentReligious minorities
View the documentGuideline 9: Changing discriminatory attitudes through education, training and the media
View the documentGuideline 10: Development of public and private sector standards and mechanisms for implementing these standards
View the documentGuideline 11: State monitoring and enforcement of human rights
close this folderGuideline 12: International cooperation
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View the documentInternational compliance monitoring mechanisms
View the documentNGO mobilization
View the documentReligious leaders
View the documentIV. CONCLUSION
close this folderANNEXES
close this folderAnnex A: Medical facts
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View the documentRecent initiatives in vaccine development and access to treatment
View the documentAnnex B: Resolution unanimously adopted by the 99th Inter-parliamentary Union Conference (Windhoek, 10 April 1998)
View the documentAnnex C: International Guidelines on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights
View the documentAnnex D: About UNAIDS
View the documentANNEX E: About The Inter-Parliamentary Union
View the documentENDNOTES


As the 20th century draws to a close, HIV and AIDS continue to wreak havoc on an ever-increasing number of individuals, couples, families, and communities. More than 90 percent of the 33.6 million people living with HIV/AIDS at the end of 1999 were in the developing world. In many developing countries, the epidemic has come to represent a threat to human security itself. Sparing neither children nor parents, neither teachers, health workers, farmers, nor other active members of society, AIDS is wiping out gains in social and economic development.

Every year, leaders who previously were confident that their own peoples were somehow immune from HIV for reasons of culture, religion or geography find their countries hard-hit by the epidemic. Politicians in some countries have ignored the threat of AIDS, perhaps for fear that discussions about safer sex, reducing harm to injecting drug users or other sensitive subjects would alienate one or another segment of their supporters.

In other places, however, political leaders have courageously taken on the epidemic, placing themselves in the vanguard of those battling to beat back HIV/AIDS in the most effective ways possible. The greatest achievements in preventing the spread of HIV and alleviating the impact of AIDS have been in countries whose leaders have demonstrated strong political will and commitment.

The purpose of this Handbook is to assist parliamentarians and other elected officials in promulgating and enacting effective legislation and undertaking appropriate law reform in the fight against AIDS. Whether it be constitutional amendments to prohibit discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS or against those most vulnerable to infection, legislation to ensure the rights of school children to be educated on how to protect themselves as they grow older, to name only a few areas of concern, the full engagement of legislators is crucial to ensuring effective responses to the epidemic and adequate fiscal and other resources to support them.

The Handbook provides examples of best legislative and regulatory practices gathered from around the world. Best practices are given for each of the twelve guidelines contained in the International Guidelines on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights published in 1998 by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). The Handbook presents concrete measures that legislators can take to protect human rights and promote public health in responding to the epidemic.

The Handbook is the product of a growing partnership between the Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU) and UNAIDS, which share a commitment to the respect, protection and fulfilment of human rights as a value in itself, and as central to the achievement of their institutional goals and objectives.

We hope that parliamentarians and other elected officials around the world will be able to make use of this Handbook in advancing their national and community responses to AIDS, and we urge them to declare or renew their political commitments to preventing the spread and alleviating the impact of this terrible epidemic.

Peter Piot
Executive Director
Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS

Anders Johnsson
Inter-Parliamentary Union