State and federal governments should make a clear commitment to reforming laws that discriminate against HIV-positive people, state and national organisations representing people living with HIV have said.
“The theme for World AIDS Day 2009 is ‘Take Action – No Discrimination’, ” National Association of People Living with HIV/AIDS (NAPWA) president Robert Mitchell said.
“The Commonwealth government has chosen to highlight discrimination this World AIDS Day, so today would be an ideal time to lead by example and agree to review laws which treat people with HIV unfairly.
People Living with HIV/AIDS Victoria president Paul Kidd said areas in desperate need of change included laws surrounding the criminalisation of HIV, immigration, and Medicare ineligibilities.
“Reform of these laws would ensure Australia maintains its place as a leader in HIV prevention, care and support, and would be welcome at a time when a new national HIV strategy is about to be adopted. It would also strengthen the human rights of people living with HIV in Australia in a very immediate and meaningful way,” Mitchell said.
“World AIDS Day is an opportunity for the whole community to pause and remember those we have lost, and to recommit ourselves to continuing the effort against HIV in Australia. This year’s focus on discrimination highlights the human rights of people living with HIV,” Kidd said.
“These are not abstract issues for us. They are real, immediate and often brutal in their impact. As the global theme for World AIDS Day says, we are living our rights.”

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