After nearly 10 years of intense debate and consultations, Malawi Members of Parliament voted to reject controversial provisions in their HIV (Prevention and Management) Bill. The Bill had included provisions that would have made HIV testing and treatment mandatory for specific people in a discriminating manner. Additionally, and perhaps more controversially, the Bill had sought, also, to allow criminalisation of HIV transmission, exposure and non-disclosure. This newsletter captures part of the debates leading to the passing of the final Bill.
Expresses concern that HIV-specific laws harm prevention efforts and care and infringe on human rights. Reaffirms States human rights obligations and calls on SADC Member States to rescind punitive HIV laws.
April 2012 passing of the HIV & AIDS Prevention bill by the East African Legislative Assembly (Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi). The bill offers a constructive alternative to the N’Djamena Model Laws promoting HIV criminalisation. The Bill followed strong actions by civil society including numerous stakeholder meetings of civil society and politicians.