No regulations related to HIV/AIDS individuals - analysis

Skopje, 16 May 2011 (MIA) - Republic of Macedonia has signed all international conventions that are legally binding for the rights of HIV/AIDS individuals, but there are no regulations related to these persons. One of the recommendations is that these international documents need to be increasingly applied or transposed in the national legislation. The health protection section includes healthcare regulations that do not fully encompass the rights of these individuals.

These are the findings of the analysis of HIV/AIDS-related legislation from the aspect of human rights, presented by national expert Neda Milevska-Kostova on Monday.

All regional countries have developed such analyses, which will be submitted to the UN.

A total of 134 individuals in Macedonia were registered as HIV positive in 2010, of whom 99 were AIDS cases.

According to Milevska-Kostova, the only law which stipulates against discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation is the Law on Protection of Patients' Rights.

"This is not the case with the Anti-Discrimination Law or the Law on Non-Discrimination. There are also other laws that can be improved regarding the perception of HIV/AIDS through another perspective, primarily the Law on Contagious Diseases", she added.

UNICEF Representative to Macedonia, Sheldon Yett, who is also a member of the UN HIV/AIDS Theme Group, stressed the number of people living with HIV/AIDS in 2009 amounted to 1,4 million, compared to the 530,000 in 2000, whereas the number of people living with HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia tripled in the same period.

"The reasons for the increase can be found in poor laws and policies, stigmatizing and discrimination that can block effective responses in dealing with HIV", said Yett.

According to him, good solutions cannot be based on judgment or exclusion, but inclusion.

"We hope models developed in the future will include integrated services for women, children and young people, with such programs created by the civil society and the youth", underlined Yett.

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