After over eight long years of tireless advocacy by AHF Argentina and civil society partners, which included multiple presentations to legislators over the years, Argentina’s Senate has finally passed a law guaranteeing comprehensive health care to people living with HIV in the country.
Over 1,000 advocates amassed outside Congress on the day of the law’s signing, replacing 30-year-old legislation that, while groundbreaking in Latin America, did not do enough to support people living with HIV. The recently passed law also integrates provisions for viral hepatitis, tuberculosis, and other sexually transmitted infections.
“This process was long and complex, but we finally find ourselves with a new HIV law that will result in a complete paradigm shift for people living with HIV,” said Fiona Wiefling, Advocacy Manager for AHF Argentina. “This comprehensive legislation doesn’t just fight HIV the disease – it’s concentrated on ending stigma and guaranteeing the same rights to people living with HIV as other Argentinians.
The new law ensures labor rights, access to retirement pensions, and incorporates essential gender-based language, including an entire chapter dedicated to women’s comprehensive health care and reproductive rights.
“It’s been a long journey for AHF and countless civil society partners – now all that’s left is implementation to bring it to life,” added Dr. Miguel Pedrola, AHF’s Scientific Director for its Latin America and Caribbean Bureau. “Argentina has come a long way from solely trying to fight AIDS to legislating rights for people living with HIV, as there are many non-medical issues that were not granted in the past—this law aims to ensure those rights.”
AHF has worked in Argentina since 2013 and currently provides HIV/AIDS care and treatment to more than 28,400 clients.