AID FOR AIDS, through its Observatorio Latino Initiative, salutes and celebrates this achievement of Venezuelan Civil society. We consider that this proposal of law could lead to the end of the shortages of ARV drugs in Venezuela.
Yesterday, 14 August 2014, Venezuela celebrated the National Assembly’s unanimous passage and adoption of the “Bill for the promotion and protection of the right to equality for persons with HIV/AIDS and their families”, which prohibits any act or conduct of discrimination committed by any person or by any place of work, institutions for health , education, sports, recreation, culture or law, public or private, against persons with HIV/AIDS and their families, based on their health condition; says Alberto Nieves, Venezuelan activist.
This law, Mr. Nieves says: “recognizes persons with HIV and AIDS, and family as a vulnerable group due to their health situation,” who “have the right to be treated with humanity and with dignity, especially in personal relationships, access and attention to the public services provided by the public or private sector.”
The law also requires protecting populations at risk of HIV infection, which will safeguard their health and that of others; they should be protected with a public policy of prevention and treatment. Within these groups are included, continued Mr. Nieves: “people who consume drugs, sex workers, migrant communities, the LGBTI communities, pregnant women, people with disabilities, the imprisoned, the homeless, and others that could be recognized by the State in international treaties and conventions.”
With this law discrimination is prohibited in public and private centers of health, work, education, culture, sport, recreation and prisons. Guardianship and parenthood of persons with HIV are protected, as are children and adolescents. People with HIV and AIDS will be able to obtain coverage from insurance companies without being rejected due to having HIV.
People with HIV/AIDS who are incarcerated will be protected and guaranteed health care.
All of the above should definitely guarantee the confidentiality and privacy of people with HIV and AIDS.
The law also imposes administrative sanctions for those who fail to comply, including fines ranging between 10 and 100 tax units for people and fines ranging from 100 to 1000 tax units for incorporated entities or companies.
Congratulations to Venezuelan Civil society who worked strong for this achievement. And we also wish to recognize those who were present in the Chamber of the National Assembly: Fundación Amigos de la Vida, ALVI Carabobo, Fundación Arco Iris, PLAFAM, AVESA, Red Venezolana de Gente Positiva, COVIP, Acción Solidaria, Ases de Venezuela, Acción Ecuménica, Colectivos en Positivo, Unión Afirmativa de Venezuela, Venezuela Diversa, Acción Ciudadana Contra el SIDA, AMBAR, Redmetsida and the LGBTI network of Venezuela, UNAIDS official Alejandra Corao, the Secretary of the National Council of human rights Larry Davoe, and Ombudsman David Rojas.
Learn more about the contents of this Bill here