Malawi MPs use SADC Model Law on HIV to fight bad parts of HIV Bill

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.

‘The intention may not be cruel… but the impact may be’: understanding legislators’ motives and wider public attitudes to a draft HIV Bill in Malawi

Participatory Action Research undertaken during consideration of new HIV criminalisation laws in Malawi in 2010/11 indicated the proposed bill manifests a tension between intention and impact. By incorporating criminal sanctions as part of the proposed HIV bill, the lawmakers actively seek to use stigma to shape social attitudes and attempt to guide normative behaviour.