HIV Policy Lab Team
The United Nations Secretariat Building was lit with the red AIDS ribbon to demonstrate the Organization's commitment to the battle against HIV/AIDS during the General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS from 25-27 June 2001. UN Photo.
At the High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS (June 8-10, 2021), UN member states will recommit to the goal of ending AIDS by 2030. The Political Declaration is expected to recognize the central role that inequalities, stigma and discrimination, and violence play in fueling the HIV pandemic and the necessity of reforming laws and policies that drive discrimination and undermine access to HIV prevention and treatment.
The Political Declaration follows on UNAIDS’ release of the Global AIDS Strategy 2021-2026: End Inequalities. End AIDS. At the core of the strategy, an ambitious new set of targets, the 10-10-10 targets, call on countries to repeal punitive laws/policies that target key populations and to implement supportive laws/policies that combat stigma, discrimination, and gender-based violence.
These targets will not be achieved without transparency, evidence, and accountability—transparency around the laws/policies that countries have in place, evidence to show why policy change is necessary and beneficial, and advocacy to hold governments accountable for acting on their commitments and achieving the 10-10-10 targets.
The HIV Policy Lab has developed a set of analyses to support advocacy around the High-Level Meeting and 10-10-10 targets.
Data on Current Laws/Policies
These policy briefs highlight the progress countries have made towards adopting the laws/policies called for in the 10-10-10 targets, globally and in each UNAIDS region.
- Law & Policy Progress towards the 10-10-10 Targets: Global
- Law & Policy Progress towards the 10-10-10 Targets: Asia & the Pacific
- Law & Policy Progress towards the 10-10-10 Targets: Eastern Europe & Central Asia
- Law & Policy Progress towards the 10-10-10 Targets: Eastern & Southern Africa
- Law & Policy Progress towards the 10-10-10 Targets: Latin America & the Caribbean
- Law & Policy Progress towards the 10-10-10 Targets: Middle East & North Africa
- Law & Policy Progress towards the 10-10-10 Targets: Western & Central Africa
- Law & Policy Progress towards the 10-10-10 Targets: Western and Central Europe & North America
Evidence to Support Policy Change
Law, Criminalization and HIV in the World: Have countries that criminalize achieved more or less successful AIDS pandemic response?
Matthew M. Kavanagh, Schadrac C. Agbla, Mara Pillinger, Marissa Joy, Alaina Case, Ngozi Erondu, Kashish Aneja, Taavi Erkkola, Ellie Graeden. (2021)
This study offers new empirical evidence that laws and policies affect HIV outcomes. The implications: Ending criminalization and discrimination — and passing rights-protective laws — are necessary to end AIDS.
Here are the study’s key findings:
- The AIDS response was less successful in countries with laws that criminalize same-sex sex, sex work, and drug use:
- Same-sex sex criminalization was associated with 11% lower knowledge of HIV status and 8% lower viral suppression among people living with HIV (PLHIV).
- Sex work criminalization was associated with 10% lower knowledge of status and 6% lower viral suppression.
- Drug use criminalization was associated with 14% lower levels of both.
- Criminalizing all three of these areas was associated with approximately 18%–24% worse outcomes.
- On the other hand, countries with laws advancing non-discrimination, human rights institutions, and gender-based violence response had better outcomes and were associated with significantly higher knowledge of HIV status and higher viral suppression among PLHIV.
- Non-discrimination protections were associated with 9.7% higher knowledge of HIV status and 10.7% higher viral suppression among PLHIV.
- Independent human rights institutions were associated with 3% higher knowledge of HIV status and 3.3% higher viral suppression.
- Gender-based violence laws were associated with 15.9% higher knowledge of HIV status and 16.2% higher viral suppression.