The following is a brief description of work on women, law, and HIV/AIDS that the OSI Law and Health Initiative is undertaking in coordination with the Open Society Initiative of East Africa, the Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa, and the Open Society Foundation of South Africa. This work was informed by an information-gathering trip in March to Kenya, South Africa, Swaziland, and Uganda, as well as discussions with colleagues at the OSI Public Health Program, International Women’s Program, and Africa Regional Office.
While the devastating effect of HIV/AIDS on women is widely acknowledged as a major global challenge, there is a lack of donor support for effective legal interventions to address human rights abuses that render women more susceptible to HIV/AIDS and impede the treatment of HIV-positive women. In collaboration with OSIEA, OSISA, and OSF-SA, LAHI hopes to support legal interventions in four key areas:
- empowering women to seek legal remedies for human rights abuses fueling the epidemic,
- promoting a health system respectful of the human rights of women affected by HIV/AIDS (with a particular focus on HIV testing),
- providing core support and technical assistance to key partners working at the intersection of women, law, and HIV/AIDS, and
- developing trainings and materials to strengthen civil society capacity to deal with these issues.