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Rights to Health, Non-Discrimination and Privacy and HIV

The Right to Non-Discrimination –People, including children, who are vulnerable to human rights violations and marginalization are more vulnerable to HIV infections; and if infected, face barriers in not only accessing appropriate health services, but a range of other economic and social rights in addition to other forms of redress and remedies for rights violations. Discrimination (often partnered with stigma) is often a leading barrier to HIV prevention, treatment and support. Discrimination on the ground of one’s actual or perceived HIV status has been explicitly recognized as a prohibited ground of discrimination by existing human rights standards. Measures need to be taken to ensure that people living with or affected by HIV have equal access to medical care and treatment, including prevention and support.

Right to Privacy - International standards also recognize the right to privacy, which encompasses obligations to respect physical privacy, including the obligation to seek informed consent to HIV testing, and privacy of information, including the need to respect confidentiality of all information relating to a person’s HIV status. Governments have the obligation to guarantee that adequate safeguards are in place to ensure that no testing occurs without informed consent, that confidentiality is protected, particularly in health and social welfare settings, and that information on HIV status is not disclosed to third parties without the consent of the individual.