International Guidelines on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights

Download full text: English
Year of adoption: 1998
Year of entry into force:
Legal Status:


  • “In 2001, the Commission on Human Rights adopted a resolution in which it stated that the right to the highest attainable standard of health includes access to antiretroviral therapy for HIV.” (Foreword)
  • “States should enact legislation to provide for the regulation of HIV-related goods, services and information, so as to ensure widespread availability of quality prevention measures and services, adequate HIV prevention and care information, and safe and effective medication at an affordable price.” (pt. 23)
  • “States should also take measures necessary to ensure for all persons, on a sustained and equal basis, the availability and accessibility of quality goods, services and information for HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support, including antiretroviral and other safe and effective medicines, diagnostics .and related technologies for preventive, curative and palliative care of HIV and related opportunistic infections and conditions.” (pt. 24)
  • “Universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support is necessary to respect, protect and fulfil human rights related to health, including the right to enjoy the highest attainable standard of health.” (pt. 28)
  • “The right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health comprises, inter alia, ‘the prevention, treatment and control of epidemic…diseases’ and ‘the creation of conditions which would assure to all medical service and medical attention in the event of sickness’.” (pt 143)
  • “States should ensure the provision of appropriate HIV-related information, education and support, including access to services for sexually transmitted diseases, to the means of prevention (such as condoms and clean injection equipment) and to voluntary and confidential testing with pre-and post-test counselling, in order to enable individuals to protect themselves and others from infection. States should also ensure a safe blood supply and implementation of ‘universal precautions’ to prevent transmission in settings such as hospitals, doctors’ offices, dental practices and acupuncture clinics, as well as informal settings, such as during home births.” (pt. 144)
  • “States should also ensure access to adequate treatment and drugs, within the overall context of their public health policies, so that people living with HIV can live as long and as successfully as possible.” (pt. 145)