People with HIV Have the Right to the Best Possible Physical and Mental Health / Wendy Iriepa and Ignacio Estrada

By Ignacio Estrada Cepero

People affected by HIV/AIDS have the right to the highest possible level of physical health and mental alertness among other things “the prevention, treatment and control of epidemic illnesses” and “the creation of conditions that assure medical assistance and services to all in the event of illness”

In order to fulfill these obligations in the context of HIV, the Cuban State should guarantee the availability of information, education and adequate support with respect to HIV, including access to treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, to the means of prevention (for example condoms) and to voluntary tests for HIV with counseling prior to, and after the test in order that people may protect themselves and others from infection

Cuba, like other nations, should guarantee a safe blood supply and the implementation of universal precautions to reduce transmission in settings such as hospitals, clinics, dental services or clinics that offer acupuncture services including the same that are outside an institutional setting.

Within these duties is also the assurance of access to treatments and adequate medicines, within the general public health policy, so that people living with HIV can live as long and as well as possible. People living with HIV should also have access to clinical trials and the ability to choose among all available drugs and therapies, including alternative therapies.

International support, in both public and private sectors, is essential for developing countries to have greater access to health care, treatment, drugs and equipment. In this context, countries are obliged to ensure that no drugs or other materials supplied are expired, and are also obliged to permit their safe supply avoiding shortages.

It’s possible that the state has to create special measures to insure all social groups, especially the most marginalized and among them given the issue of HIV/AIDS in Cuba it is valid to mention in this group the population of Cubans in prison living with HIV/AIDS, surpassing  700 inmates. They must have equal access to prevention services, care and treatment of HIV.

The obligations of all States with regards to Human Rights is to prevent discrimination and to guarantee medical care and services in case of illness, and to require them to ensure that no one is discriminated against in the environment of health care for their status with respect to HIV.

March 19 2012