Last week, the International Center for Research for Women released a report containing analyses and recommendations from its 2009 “Sex, Rights and the Law in a World with AIDS” conference in Cuernavaca, Mexico. The conference attendees from around the globe, including the Center for HIV Law and Policy, convened to explore why the AIDS response has made relatively little progress worldwide in the prevention of sexually transmitted HIV and what must be done to ensure an effective long-term response.
The report, available on the Resource Bank here, recommends several specific actions, including the establishment of minimum legal standards to reduce vulnerability and enable the development of AIDS resilience, most notably the decriminalization of HIV status, transmission, and exposure, the decriminalization of sex work, the removal of prohibitions on same-sex relationships and sexual practices, and the guarantee of equal rights of people living with HIV and AIDS. The report also recommends that national responses prioritize structural approaches, such as poverty reduction and strengthening education, arguing that promoting social justice is essential for an effective, long-term response to AIDS.
The conference and the report were sponsored by the International Center for Research on Women, aids2031, the United Nations Development Program, the Global Coalition on Women and AIDS, and the Ford Foundation.