Towards a Climate of Tolerance and Respect: Legislating for HIV/AIDS and Human Rights in Papua New Guinea

Christine Stewart

From the time some 12-15 years ago when the Papua New Guinea public first became aware of HIV/AIDS, it was felt that there needed to be “some laws” on the subject.  However, no-one at that stage had much idea of the possible content or direction of those laws.  Occasionally the media carried (largely apocryphal) stories of attempts at deliberate transmission (through rape, or blood-filled syringes, for example) which would prompt calls to proscribe such acts.  Various compulsory testing policies were instituted ¾ by the Defence Force for its personnel; by one or two private companies for employees; by the Department of Foreign Affairs for intending residents.[1]  Proposals along the lines of “lock them up and throw away the key”, or “ship them off to an isolated island” were bandied about.  All of these suggestions and initiatives were derived piecemeal from classical public health disease management models of detection and containment¾ by physical segregation, if necessary.  But it was not until the PNG National HIV/AIDS Medium Term Plan 1998-2002[2] (the MTP) was developed, through a long process of discussion, research and intensive work on the part of the coordinating-committee and working-group members, that the possibility of law reform in the context of HIV/AIDS came to be approached in a systematic and rational way.

Research Type(s)
Journal Article
Submitted by Toksave
March 25, 2021
Published in
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