HIV criminalisation in francophone Africa highlighted at ICASA

As a side event to the ICASA conference in Côte d’Ivoire in early December, the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network organised a unique meeting on HIV criminalisation in Francophone Africa on behalf of HIV JUSTICE WORLDWIDE.

Bringing together people living with HIV, activists, lawyers and a judge, as well as organizations representing or working with the LGBTI communities, drug users and sex workers in North, West and Central Africa, this meeting helped lay the foundations for a Francophone network against HIV criminalisation.

At the meeting, HIV JUSTICE WORLDWIDE also released the first-ever Regional HIV Criminalisation Report for Francophone Africa, produced by the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, which found that of the 18 countries in the region, 16 HIV-specific laws criminalise HIV transmission or exposure with only the HIV-specific laws of Comoros and Mauritius containing no criminal provisions in this respect.

It also found case reports (including cases that have been discontinued or settled outside of the courts) in 11 countries – Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Morocco, Mauritania, Niger, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Togo and Tunisia.

The report, in French, also includes an English-language summary, and can be downloaded here.