Brochure - Human Rights and Health: Persons Living with HIV/AIDS



Juan is HIV-positive. He is also the head of a nongovernmental organization that works to improve the quality of life and promote the empowerment of others like him living with HIV/AIDS, their family members, and other loved ones. Specifically, his group strives to protect and defend the human rights of all persons whose lives have been touched by HIV/AIDS, and it provides legal expertise and guidance to those who feel their civil, political, economic, social or cultural rights and fundamental freedoms have been denied or violated.

Juan’s group filed a petition with an international human rights body alleging responsibility on the part of his Government for presumed violations of various provisions in binding human rights conventions relating to the right of life; humane treatment; equal protection before the law; juridical protection; and economic, social, and cultural rights. Juan claims that by not providing him and 30 other HIV-positive individuals the triple therapy medication needed to prevent them from dying and to improve their quality of life, the State has violated the right to life, health, and well-being of the alleged victims.

The State reported to the human rights body the decision to authorize the purchase of medication for the provision of triple (i.e., combined) therapy and to adopt measures for strengthening and stepping up activities aimed at preventing the transmission of AIDS through education and the promotion of hygiene and preventive health among sectors most at risk for this disease. Additionally, the Government announced its intention to create a fund aimed at purchasing antiretroviral medications for the provision of triple therapy to HIV-infected persons. The national health authorities began administering antiretroviral treatment, and currently some 1,700 people receive the drug therapy through state hospitals.