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Report of an International Consultation on AIDS and Human Rights. Geneva, 26-28 July 1989. Organized by the Centre for Human Rights with the technical and financial support of the World Health Organization Global Programme on AIDS.
New York, New York, United Nations, 1991. iii, 57 p.In July 1989, ethicists, lawyers, religious leaders, and health professionals participated in an international consultation on AIDS and human rights in Geneva, Switzerland. The report addressed the public health and human rights rationale for protecting the human rights and dignity of HIV infected people, including those with AIDS. Discrimination and stigmatization only serve to force HIV infected people away from health, educational, and social services and to hinder efforts to prevent and control the spread of HIV. In addition to nondiscrimination, another fundamental human right is the right to life and AIDS threatens life. Governments and the international community are therefore obligated to do all that is necessary to protect human lives. Yet some have enacted restrictions on privacy (compulsory screening and testing), freedom of movement (preventing HIV infected persons from migrating or traveling), and liberty (prison). The participants agreed that everyone has the right to access to up-to-date information and education concerning HIV and AIDS. They did not come to consensus, however, on the need for an international mechanism by which human right abuses towards those with HIV/AIDS can be prevented and redressed. International and health law, human rights, ethics, and policy all must go into any international efforts to preserve human rights of HIV infected persons and to prevent and control the spread of AIDS. The participants requested that this report be distributed to human rights treaty organizations so they can deliberate what action is needed to protect the human rights of those at risk or infected with HIV. They also recommended that governments guarantee that measures relating to HIV/AIDS and concerning HIV infected persons conform to international human rights standards.