Symposium focuses on how the law can uphold TB patients’ rights

03 November 2013 - Paris - The Stop TB Partnership, KELIN, UNAIDS and The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria partnered to run a symposium on the connections between HIV, tuberculosis (TB), human rights and the law at the 44th Union World Conference on Lung Health, in Paris, France.

The symposium, supported by GIZ, aimed to demonstrate the link between HIV, TB and human rights in relation to TB patients in detention and share success stories on how the law can uphold TB and HIV patients’ rights to care and treatment under a human rights framework.

The symposium was co-chaired by the Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership Dr Lucica Ditiu and Dr Reuben Granich, Senior Advisor for Care and Treatment at UNAIDS. More than 130 people attended.

The Executive Director of KELIN, Allan Maleche, kicked off the session with a five minute video of TB patients who have been detained in Kenyan prisons, and spoke about other cases of imprisonment of TB patients in Kenya.

Other speakers included John Stephens, an attorney at Section 27, who spoke about a ground-breaking South African Constitutional Court judgement. Lynette Mabote from ARASA spoke about the use of human rights literacy as a strategy to empower community members to use the law to access HIV and TB services. Masha Tvaradze from the Eurasian Harm Reduction Network spoke about TB treatment and the right to health in eastern Europe for injecting drug users. Meg Davis, Senior Human Rights Advisor at The Global Fund, spoke about the need to incorporate human rights activities and programmes in countries’ Global Fund proposals.

Plenary discussions focused on the crucial role of human rights activists in ensuring access to affordable and quality TB and HIV services.

Read the presentations made by Allan Maleche and John Stephens.