HIV/AIDS, Reproductive and Sexual Health, and the Law
American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 98, No. 10, pp. 1779-1786, 2008
10 Pages Posted: 22 May 2009 Last revised: 21 Jun 2011
Date Written: May 18, 2009
The law is a frequently overlooked tool for addressing the complex practical and ethical issues that arise from the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The law intersects with reproductive and sexual health issues and HIV/AIDS in many ways. Well-written and rigorously applied laws could benefit persons living with (or at risk of contracting) HIV/AIDS, particularly concerning their reproductive and sexual health. Access to reproductive health services should be a legal right, and discrimination based on HIV status, which undermines access, should be prohibited. Laws against sexual violence and exploitation, which perpetuate the spread of HIV and its negative effects, should be enforced. Finally, a human rights framework should inform the drafting of laws to more effectively protect health.
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