Report calls for legal reforms to drive forward HIV response in Myanmar
A national HIV legal review report, launched in Myanmar’s capital Nay Pyi Taw on 23 September, called for immediate and long-term legal reform and capacity building to ensure access to health and HIV prevention and treatment services for people living with HIV (PLHIV) and key affected populations. The report, a collaboration between UNAIDS, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the community organization Pyoe Pin provided evidence of widespread stigma and discrimination of PLHIV and key populations at higher risk of HIV in employment, education and the provision of health care and other services and offered recommendations to improve the legal framework and create a more enabling environment for the HIV response.
Amidst on-going social and economic transitions in Myanmar, the report could contribute to the Government of Myanmar’s efforts to meet its international commitments, work toward its vision of Universal Health Coverage by 2030 and strengthen implementation of the Myanmar National Strategic Plan on HIV and AIDS 2011 – 2016.
The report found that the majority of laws affecting the rights of PLHIV and key populations in Myanmar were outdated, including a law inherited from the British colonial era that maintained the transmission of HIV and sex between two males as a criminal offence. It called for new laws and policies to address a range of issues, particularly ensuring non-discrimination and confidentiality.
Download the report here.
“Meaningful progress cannot occur without collaboration and ensuring that the people most affected by the HIV epidemic are involved in the solution. The diverse voices coming together today mark a significant step in bringing about legal reform”.
Caitlin Reiger, Chief Technical Adviser, UNDP
“We have long dealt with police harassment on the street and fear of discrimination when accessing health care. I am eager to see the changes that may come about from our discussion today”.
Ma Thuzar Win, Sex Worker network in Myanmar
“Whether you are a sex worker or a transgender individual or HIV-positive or not, should not affect your right to access life-saving treatment and HIV prevention. Reforms are needed to drive forward the agenda to ensure an enabling environment that will eliminate injustices and rights violations and protect people living with HIV and key affected populations from stigma and discrimination.”
Eamonn Murphy, Country Director for UNAIDS Myanmar