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Legislation in Some Asia-Pacific Countries Aimed at Protecting People Living With HIV Not Enforced, UN Development Program Report Says

May 31, 2013

"Several countries in Asia-Pacific have successfully enacted laws to protect people living with HIV, but in most cases the legislation lacks teeth, according to a new report [.pdf] by the U.N. Development Program," Devex reports. "Cambodia, China, Fiji, Laos, Micronesia, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and Vietnam have laws that provide legal protections for people living with HIV," the news service writes, adding, "However, the study notes there are serious gaps between 'laws on the book' and 'laws in the streets': Although laws are there, people living with HIV cannot access justice." The news service states, "In many countries, according to the UNDP paper, people living with the virus fear mounting a legal challenge that would result in disclosure of their identity, and even if they do have the courage to go to court, lack of money and access to public justice systems hinder them from claiming their legal rights." The study's findings will be discussed at an HIV conference in Thailand on June 2-4, Devex notes (Morales, 5/30).

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