Human rights violations continue to hinder the response to HIV/AIDS, to place people at risk of HIV and to be addressed in AIDS programs and policy. Subordination of women constrains their ability to demand safer sex and their equal access to health and education services.
Men who have sex with men and sex workers are harassed and abused with impunity in many countries. Prisoners are denied access to HIV/AIDS services and support that are available to others. Indigenous persons and migrants face multiple forms of discrimination that inhibit their seeking of HIV/AIDS services.
People living with HIV/AIDS face a wide range of discriminatory practices in many settings. In short, in spite of widespread rhetorical support for human rights-based approaches to addressing HIV/AIDS, much remains to be done to safeguard the human rights of people living with HIV/AIDS and those most affected by the disease.
In facing these challenges, organizations of people living with HIV/AIDS, advocates and policy-makers have often needed and relied upon legal and human rights analysis and relevant research — to challenge discriminatory laws, to resist unjust or ill-informed policies, to use legal procedures to secure people’s rights and to transform social relations and conditions in ways that protect people against HIV and ensure access to dignity and care for those living with HIV.
Yet such information and tools are often inaccessible in a given language or format or seldom adapted to a particular set of new circumstances. In some cases, many resources exist on a given subject, but those who need these documents do not have the time or resources to find what they need or to work out which existing materials are most pertinent for their needs.
AIDSLEX (the AIDS and Law Exchange) gives concrete meaning to a “rights-based approach to HIV/AIDS”. This web portal is a tool for activists, community organizations, researchers, policy-makers, journalists, health workers and anyone who seeks quick and easy access to a wide range of resources about HIV, human rights and the law. It helps people around the world communicate and share information, materials and strategies, with the ultimate goal of contributing to a global effort to protect and promote the human rights of people living with or vulnerable to HIV and AIDS.