XVIII International AIDS Conference


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Legal advisory body on human rights and STD/HIV/AIDS - promotion and defense of human rights to combat the epidemic - Brazil

N. Souza Lima, D. Bernardo De Oliveira Neto

Ministry of Health, DST/AIDS, Brasília, Brazil

Subject: Presentation of the results of a Project to provide Legal Advisory services on Human Rights financed and supported by the Ministry of Health's STD, AIDS and Viral Hepatitis Department in partnership with government bodies and international entities.
Description: The Project seeks to implant actions to structure public policies for protecting and promoting Human Rights in Brazil. The Department's role is to publish calls for institutions involved in combating violations of human rights and stigma and discrimination associated to HIV/AIDS to submit projects for selection, and also promotes the qualification of multipliers in Human Rights, mostly people living with HIV/AIDS.
Lessons learned: The activities directed at qualifying multipliers in Human Rights aroused awareness against discriminatory practices.
People benefited by the projects became active protagonists in the spaces for social control, aware of the specific laws applicable to people living with HIV/AIDS and of which spheres of government can be held responsible for actions. Among those people there was a notable increase in self-esteem, improved quality of life, and commitment to co-responsibility in adherence to treatment
Next steps: Continue to provide support, re-assess the results, implement new actions like articulations between the justice and legislative branches and organised civil society to promote dialogue on issues concerning the epidemic.
The Department feels that the legal advisory service projects represent an important strategy to ensure that public health policies are in consonance with the legal directives to combat any form of discrimination The precepts that access to information is primordial in fighting discrimination and that respect for human rights is an essential element of the response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic are strongly underscored.

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