Letter to the President of Zambia Regarding the Marginalization of Men Who Have Sex with Men in the Fight Against HIV/AIDS

Published: May 21, 2010

Letter to the President of Zambia Regarding the Marginalization of Men Who Have Sex with Men in the Fight Against HIV/AIDS

Dear President Banda, Vice President Kunda, and Ministers Simbao and Mangani:

Human Rights Watch is a leading independent non-governmental organization, founded in 1978, that monitors human rights developments in more than eighty countries around the world. Since 2001, Human Rights Watch has been monitoring health-related human rights violations in the context of the global HIV epidemic.

In the past three years, Human Rights Watch has issued two reports on HIV and human rights in Zambia: In 2007 we documented how domestic violence affected adherence to HIV treatment, and earlier this year we presented findings on HIV and tuberculosis in prison settings. We acknowledge Zambia’s admirable commitment to providing free universal HIV treatment; however, we continue to be concerned that Zambia’s goal of combating HIV and AIDS will be undermined by punitive and stigmatizing laws, policies and practices.

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