Background

Sources

The HIV Policy Lab gathers information about laws and policies in countries throughout the world and compares them to international standards and guidelines as described in our methodology.

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Our information comes from three major sources:

Law and Policy Texts

Laws and policy documents are cited and available for download wherever possible by clicking the icon on each country page or by visiting our full online reference library.

Official Reporting from States

The National Commitments and Policy Instrument (NCPI) is a component of the UN’s Global AIDS Monitoring (GAM), through which UNAIDS, WHO and the United Nations Children’s Fund collect country progress reports from United Nations Member States to monitor progress on the agreements made at the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS. NCPI is an annual survey through which countries self-report information on their existing HIV/AIDS policies. The Instrument consists of Part A, completed by governments, and Part B, completed by civil society representatives and other nongovernmental partners involved in the AIDS response.

Validated Additional Sources From Key Partners

AVAC PrEP Watch Database: The PrEP Watch Database provides information on the status of PrEP as an option for HIV prevention worldwide. It is maintained by AVAC, an NGO that uses education, policy analysis, advocacy, and a network of global collaborations to facilitate the development and delivery of new HIV prevention policies.

Constitute: The Constitute database provides access to currently-in-force constitutions for nearly every country in order to allow for systematic comparisons across a broad range of jurisdictions and topics. The database was developed by the authors of the Comparative Constitutions Project at the University of Texas at Austin, and is compiled in partnership with William S. Hein and Company, Oxford University Press, and International IDEA.

DLA Piper Global Data Protection Laws of the World Handbook: The Global Data Protection Laws of the World Handbook, developed and updated by international law firm DLA Piper, provides a cross-sectional overview of the key privacy and data protection laws and regulations across 116 different jurisdictions.

Freedom House Freedom in the World Report: Freedom House is a nongovernmental organization funded that conducts research on democracy, political rights, and civil liberties. The Freedom in the World report tracks global trends in freedom by analyzing data on electoral process, political pluralism and participation, the functioning of the government, freedom of expression and of belief, associational and organizational rights, the rule of law, and personal autonomy and individual rights.

Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI): Consisting of more than 110 National Human Rights Institutions and co-funded by the European Union and the UN Human Rights Office of the High Commission, GANHRI reviews and accredits national human rights institutions in compliance with international benchmarks provided by the UN Paris Principles.

HIV Justice Network Global HIV Criminalization Database: The HIV Justice Network provides a global hub of information for HIV criminalization laws. The Global HIV Criminalization Database provides analysis of such laws and also includes a database of reported HIV criminalization cases and a global directory of organizations working against HIV criminalization.

HIV Self-Testing Research and Policy Hub: HIVST.org provides information on HIV self-testing. It is the result of a collaborative effort by a number of medical professionals and health policy experts.

Harm Reduction International (HRI) Global State of Harm Reduction Report: HRI is a nongovernmental organization with over 8,000 members worldwide. It is dedicated to reducing drug-related harm and promotes evidence-based public health policies and human rights-based approaches to drug policy. Their biennial Global State of Harm Reduction reports is a coordinated effort across academics, practitioners, and civil society to map global data and responses to HIV and hepatitis C epidemics related to unsafe injecting and non-injecting drug use.

International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) Talking Drugs: The IDPC is a network of over 192 NGOs worldwide that focus on issues related to drug production, trafficking, and use. It supports evidence-based analysis for and debate of the effectiveness, direction, and content of drug policies at both the national and international level. Talking Drugs is an IDPC online platform providing analysis and information on drug policy, harm reduction, and related issue around the world.

International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) State Sponsored Homophobia Report: ILGA brings together more than 1,600 LGBTI groups from over 150 countries to campaign for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and intersex human rights. The annual ILGA State Sponsored Homophobia Report collects evidence-based data on laws toward LGBTI communities in order to help promote human rights.

Medicines Law & Policy TRIPS Flexibilities Database: Medicines Law & Policy is a coalition of legal and policy experts in the field of access to medicines, international law, and public health who provides policy and legal in order to ensure the availability of effective, safe, and affordable medicine for all. Their TRIPS Flexibilities database includes instances when authorities have invoked, planned to invoke, or have been asked to invoke TRIPS flexibilities for public health reasons.

Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) Global Mapping of Sex Work Laws: NSWP is a network of local, national, and regional sex worker organizations across five regions that advocates for health and human rights for sex workers. They produce a Global Mapping of Sex Work Laws project provides information on which countries criminalize buying, selling, and management/organization of sex work.

PEPFAR Sustainability Index Dashboard (SIDs): PEPFAR SIDs is a tool completed every two years by PEPFAR teams, partners, and stakeholders to assess the current state of sustainability of national HIV/AIDS responses across PEPFAR countries and to monitor progress over time. It is administered by the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

World Bank Women Business and Law (WBL) Report: The World Bank WBL Report measures gender inequality in the law by identifying laws and regulations that restrict women’s economic opportunities. This dataset covers 190 countries and eight topics.

WHO Global Health Expenditures Database (GHED): The GHED provides data on health spending for 190 countries works collaboratively with Member States and updates the database annually using available data such as government budgets and health accounts studies. GHED is the source of the health expenditure data republished by the World Bank and the WHO Global Health Observatory.

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Database on Flexibilities in the Intellectual Property System: Maintained by WIPO, this database contains data drawn from WIPO documents on patent related flexibilities in the multilateral legal framework and their legislative implementation at the national and regional levels.

We also draw on other annual reports and policy reviews complied by the WHO, UNICEF, and other UN agencies, academic institutions, and research firms.