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News / Highlights
18
Jul

Civil society organisations petition court over HIV law

In Summary

The challenged section requires that an HIV positive person discloses their status to their partners, health workers, family members, employers and friends, among others

By JULIET KIGONGO & EMMANUEL AINEBYOONA, Daily Monitor

KAMPALA. More than 100 civil society organisations have petitioned the Constitutional Court seeking declaration as unlawful certain sections of the HIV law that compels HIV/Aids victims to disclose their status.
The group led by Uganda Network on Law, Ethics and HIV/Aids (UGANET) claims that section 18 of the HIV Act undermines public health objectives of HIV prevention and control and also contravenes the national guiding principles of public policy.
The group claims the said section is discriminatory and negatively impacts on the lives of people living with HIV/Aids, discourages voluntary testing of HIV and generally increases its spread.

In her sworn affidavit, the executive director of UGANET, Ms Dora Kiconco Musinguzi, says the effect of section 18(2)(e)of the Act in allowing the disclosure or release of results of an HIV test by medical practitioners to a broad range of undefined persons will undermine the right to privacy which is crucial in HIV testing and treatment.

“I know that (people living with HIV) PLHIV are keen to protect confidentiality of their HIV status because of the stigma they face in all spheres of their lives when disclosure of their HIV status is done without their informed consent,” Ms Kiconco said.
She also contends that section 18(2)(e) of the Act in allowing the disclosure of results of an HIV test by medical practitioners to a broad range of undefined persons undermines the right to privacy which is crucial in HIV testing and treatment.

PETITION
Civil Society organisations claim that sections 18(2)(e) and (h), 41 and 43(1)of the HIV and Aids prevention and control Act No of 2015 undermines the public health objectives of HIV prevention and control and contravenes objective XIV (b) of the National Guiding Principles of Public Policy and Articles8A, 45, 287 and 2(1) and (2) of the Constitution.
They also challenge the act of criminalisation of HIV transmission saying it has never been proven anywhere that this act decreases new HIV infections.
The challenged section requires that an HIV positive person discloses their status to their partners, health workers, family members, employers and friends, among others.

 

 

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