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International News

Protecting Human Rights of Women Living With HIV

August 9, 2012

"Women who are living with HIV remain particularly vulnerable to human rights abuses, including unlawful breaches of confidentiality, denial of health services, compulsory HIV testing and in some cases forced sterilization," a UNAIDS feature story reports, highlighting a study from January 2008 by the International Community of Women living with HIV (ICW), which found that "[o]f the 230 women interviewed, most reported some form of discrimination in health services and nearly 20 percent stated that they had been coerced or forced into sterilization." The article continues, "All too often, women living with HIV lack the means and support to challenge violation of their human rights," adding, "However in Namibia, with the help of the Legal Assistance Centre, a local human rights organization, three women living with HIV took legal action for having been sterilized without their informed consent." According to the article, "The ruling has been hailed as a step forward in recognizing the reproductive health rights of all women regardless of their HIV status" (8/8).

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This information was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery. © Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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