Access to HIV/AIDS treatment is one of the greatest challenges to responding to the global AIDS crisis, particularly for people who are marginalized by discrimination, poverty, or addiction. Prisoners, for example, often face difficulty in getting adequate HIV/AIDS care. Women have specific treatment concerns. Pediatric AIDS treatment carries its own challenges.
International law recognizes the basic human right of every person to the highest attainable standard of health, and requires states to take action to make this a reality. This includes ensuring access to
- comprehensive care, treatment and support for people living with HIV/AIDS;
- diagnostic tools (such as HIV testing kits), antiretroviral treatment, and other medicines; and
- other kinds of health and support services, including treatment for people with immune systems weakened by HIV, sexual and reproductive health services, addiction treatment, and mental health services.
The Legal Network plays a key role in the Global Treatment Access Group (GTAG), a coalition of Canadian civil society organizations working to improve access to HIV/AIDS care, treatment and support in developing countries.
Our work focuses on laws and policies that affect access to antiretroviral and other medicines, such as patents rules in international trade agreements and domestic legislation regulating the price of medicines. We also examine the legal and ethical issues of regulating complementary and alternative health care goods and services used by people living with HIV/AIDS, as well as the links between treatment activism and advocacy for HIV vaccines and microbicides.