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18/1/11 - Cabinet approves HIV/AIDS Decree 2011
The HIV/AIDS Decree aims to safeguard the privacy and rights of persons infected or affected by HIV/AIDS, including confidentiality of personal information; create an environment where persons are encouraged to go for voluntary testing, counselling and support services; empower an affected person to seek redress from professional bodies and the courts when their rights are violated ; and promote the need for everyone to be personally responsible for their own health and that of others through duty of care.
Cabinet based its decision on a submission by the Minister for Health, Dr Neil Sharma.
The minister said the decree would be implemented across all levels of the health system and relevant service delivery areas.
“All levels of the health system will develop and enact their own implementation plans on HIV/AIDS that are consistent with this Decree,” Dr Sharma said.
The minister said the implementation of the Decree would be supported by a national policy and guidelines developed by National Board for HIV/AIDS in consultation with all stakeholders and development partners, and this would be supported by appropriate training and development for key personnel for implementation.
The minister said the National Board for HIV/AIDS, which would replace the National Advisory Committee on AIDS (NACA), would lead the national response to HIV/AIDS in terms of coordination, governance and oversight.
He said people would have the confidence to come forward for testing without fear of stigma, discrimination, loss of human rights, and breach of confidentiality.
In addition, under the decree, the minister said people living with HIV/AIDS would not only have safeguards for their human rights and aspirations but have a duty of care and responsibility to the health of others.