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Washington Post Examines HIV/AIDS Rights, Responsibilities Questions

The Washington Post examines how African countries are “grappling with debates over what rights and duties to give those living with [HIV/AIDS] — a growing segment of the population that remains largely hidden.” The newspaper writes: “Across the continent, lawmakers are considering whether to make criminals of those who infect others with HIV, allow bosses to test workers for the virus, punish women who pass it to their babies and give constitutional protections to those with HIV.”

The Washington Post reports that policies protecting the rights of people who are living with HIV/AIDS have “generally been favored by officials in African nations,” but “those officials also face pressure to protect the uninfected.”

To illustrate some of the issues involved, the Washington Post highlights a pending court case involving two Zambian airmen who say the military did not tell them they were tested for HIV and unfairly discharged them. They claim this violated “their rights to privacy and protection from inhumane and degrading treatment,” and want their military jobs back (Brulliard, 9/12).