People living with HIV comment on the draft HIV Law
HA NOI – A consultation to seek the views of people living with HIV (PLWHA) on the draft Law on Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS was held in Ha Noi last week by the National Assembly Committee for Social Affairs, with support from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and USAID-POLICY Project.
The event was organised with an aim to ensure that the views of PLWHA are accounted for in the drafting process of the Law and that their rights will be fully protected in the new HIV Law. Discrimination against people living with HIV and AIDS is a barrier that prevents many people from accessing services and isolates them from community support. Incorporating the views of those most directly affected by the epidemic is central to ensuring that the new Law is responsive to the problems faced by people living with HIV and AIDS. About 40 people living with HIV from Ha Noi, Ho Chi Minh City, and provinces of Hai Phong, Quang Ninh, Thai Nguyen, Hai Duong, Thai Binh, Can Tho, and An Giang participated in this consultation.
Discussions focused on issues, which directly affect the lives of PLWHA, such as prevention; counselling; testing; care and treatment; stigma and discrimination; the right of PLWHA to live with equality in the community, and the right to participate in the formulation, planning, implementing, monitoring of policies, laws, and programmes relating to HIV and AIDS; and law enforcement measures. The recommendations drawn from the consultation will be submitted to the National Assembly Committee for Social Affairs this week and be considered before the finalisation of the Law on Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS.
The Law on Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS is one of the 11 laws, which will be approved by the National Assembly in the upcoming sitting in May and June. The Law, which is the first comprehensive law on HIV/AIDS in Viet Nam, is set to replace the Ordinance on Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS, adopted in 1995.
The consultation is one of a series of consultations on the draft HIV law, organised by National Assembly Commission for Social Affairs, as part of the Programme on Strengthening Leadership and Multisectoral Collaboration in HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control, supported by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). The Programme is currently implemented at the central and in three provinces, including Lang Son, Khanh Hoa and An Giang
Michael Coleman, UNDP Media and Publications Unit
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Katja Gray, Poverty and Social Development, UNDP
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Nguyen Thanh Van, Poverty and Social Development, UNDP
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