Advocacy Organizations Author Document on Civil Rights Issues for New Administration (2008)
Since the beginning of the epidemic, people with HIV and their advocates have been calling on the President of the United States to take visible leadership in condemning discrimination and in supporting adequate services for people with HIV. As we prepare for a new administration, we need to make it clear that protecting the rights and dignity of people with HIV/AIDS must be a central part of a national AIDS strategy.
The Center for HIV Law and Policy and Lambda Legal have been chairing a working group, that also includes the AIDS Legal Council of Chicago, the ACLU, and GLAD, on specific HIV civil rights issues for a HIV/AIDS transition document for the new administration. In this document, we identify 15 steps – some requiring little more than a few strokes of the Executive Pen – that the next U.S. administration should take in its first 100 days to end government support and accommodation of HIV-related stigma and discrimination. Most of them require little or no investment of funds, but rather call for a removal of government-created barriers to the ability of people with HIV to work, have intimate relationships, secure medical, prevention and supportive services, and be afforded respect and autonomy in their treatment decision-making without fear of punishment or exclusion solely because of their HIV status, gender, sexual orientation, or fact of imprisonment.
In the months ahead, we hope that this set of simple proposals will be among those considered by the new administration in formulating an HIV/AIDS agenda. In the coming months you will find more information here on how to get involved in advocacy for the civil and human rights of people living with HIV/AIDS. Click here to view the civil rights transition document.