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UN High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS 2021: HIVPL Data and Analysis on the 10-10-10 Targets

Jun 1, 2021

HIV Policy Lab Team

aids-summit-2001.jpeg 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.

Evidence to Support Policy Change

Law, Criminalization and HIV in the World: Have countries that criminalize achieved more or less successful AIDS pandemic response? (forthcoming)

Matthew M. Kavanagh, Schadrac C. Agbla, Mara Pillinger, Marissa Joy, Alaina Case, Ngozi Erondu, Kashish Aneja, Taavi Erkkola, Ellie Graeden. (2021)

Available at Medrxiv.org

How does the use of criminal law affect disease-fighting efforts, particularly in a pandemic? This longstanding question for governments around the world is felt acutely in the context of the COVID-19 and HIV pandemics. Many countries have laws and policies that criminalize behaviors, making same-sex relationships, illicit drug use, and sex work illegal. Meanwhile, some countries have enshrined gender- and rights-protective institutions in law. Under the global AIDS strategy of the last five years, national AIDS response efforts in countries have focused on reaching people living with HIV with testing and antiretroviral treatment to suppress the HIV virus, preventing mortality and HIV transmission. At the end of this 5-year push, this article provides an ecological analysis of whether those countries with criminalizing legal environments achieved more or less success. In countries where same-sex relationships were fully criminalized, the portion of people living with HIV who knew their status was 11% lower and viral suppression rates were 8% lower. Under sex-work criminalization, the rate of people living with HIV who knew their status was 10% lower and viral suppression 6% lower. Drug use criminalization was associated with 14% lower knowledge of status and viral. On the other hand, in countries with laws advancing non-discrimination, human rights institutions, and gender-based violence response, HIV services indicators were significantly better. This ecological evidence on the relationships between the legal environment and successful HIV response provides support for a strategy that includes a focus on law reform to achieve goals missed in 2020. 

Read coverage of this research in the New York Times