HIV/AIDS Unit

What We Do

The HIV/AIDS Unit is dedicated to the spirit of the late Dominic D’Souza, who said, “I live in the hope of a world that will be, if not free of disease, free of fear and discrimination.”

Mission

To contribute to controlling the HIV/AIDS epidemic by protecting and promoting the rights of people affected by HIV/AIDS, through law reform, legal aid and allied services of advocacy, training and research.

Setting out

The Lawyers Collective HIV/AIDS Unit was set up in 1998 based on a realization that law, policy and judicial action based on the human rights framework had a central role to play in effectively containing the HIV epidemic. The Lawyers Collective has been dealing with HIV/AIDS law since the late 1980′s when it handled the first HIV case in India. This case saw the incarceration of the HIV+ activist Dominic D’Souza under the Goa Public Health (Amendment) Act, 1986. It also saw, for the first time, arguments that espoused the need for human rights-based approach to deal with HIV/AIDS. Consequently, Lawyers Collective felt that a planned legal intervention was necessary to protect the rights of Persons Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHAs). It also felt the need to inform decision- makers about law and human rights and highlight its link with the public health crisis that HIV/AIDS was creating.

Our activities

Our mission directs our work, which is premised on human rights. Our activities aim not only at protecting the rights of those affected by HIV/AIDS but also those who are vulnerable to HIV/AIDS including sex workers, injecting drug users, gays, lesbians, trans-gendered communities and other sexual minorities whose vulnerability is exacerbated due to non-recognition of their rights. The activities include provision of legal services, advocacy and policy research and also coordinating access to medicine and treatment (AMTC) for PLHAs.

Queries can be sent to:  aidslaw@lawyerscollective.org

 

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