Developing Countries Should Pass HIV/AIDS Policies That Respect Human Rights, Encourage HIV Testing, Treatment, Australian Judge Says
July 17, 2008
Developing countries should pass HIV/AIDS policies that respect human rights and encourage people at risk of HIV to be tested for the virus and receive treatment if necessary, Australian High Court Judge Michael Kirby said Tuesday at the International Criminal Law Reform Conference in Dublin, Ireland, the Canberra Times reports.
In addition, Kirby cited a law that criminalizes the "willful transmission" of HIV "through any means by a person with full knowledge of his or her HIV status to another person." He added that the law potentially "imposes criminal liability," even if an HIV-positive person practices safer sex or takes steps to reduce mother-to-child HIV transmission.
Kirby called on governments to implement laws and policies that have been proven effective in fighting the virus, even if such policies are unpopular. "Taking the effective measures is not always popular," Kirby said, adding, "Yet taking punitive measures, depending on their terms and enforcement, is ... unlikely to succeed in the environment where there is no effective vaccine" or cure for HIV/AIDS (Canberra Times, 7/16).
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.