Organisation Internationale de Droit du Développement

IDLO at Durban AIDS2016 Conference

IDLO representatives are participating this week in the 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, which is said to be the largest conference on any global health or development issue. More than 18,000 health experts, academics, activists, people living with HIV and politicians are expected to attend the meeting to discuss the global HIV response and commitment to ending AIDS by 2030.

At AIDS2016 IDLO will be showcasing examples of its work to strengthen and expand HIV-related legal services, including police engagement, as well as human rights-based approaches and domestic legal responses to HIV, lessons learned, and support given to other organizations in Latin America, the Middle East & North Africa, and West Africa.

For the first time at an AIDS conference, IDLO will join the Law Enforcement and HIV Network to share best practices in engaging police in the HIV response; as part of this effort, there will also be a special issue of the Journal of the International AIDS Society on Police and HIV issues, which was jointly edited by IDLO’s David Patterson and Nick Crofts from the Centre For Law Enforcement and Public Health.

David Patterson, IDLO’s Senior Legal Expert for Health, attended AIDS2000 - the first international AIDS conference in a developing country – back in Durban in 2000. ‘In those days we had new treatments for HIV,’ remembers Mr. Patterson, ‘but they were only available in economically advanced countries or to the privileged few in other parts of the world. People were afraid to get tested and there was a lot of discrimination against people living with HIV.’

‘Shortly after the Durban conference in 2000, the price of HIV treatment tumbled, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria was established, and the world mobilized to scale up both HIV prevention and treatment. We have come a long way in the last sixteen years,’ notes Mr. Patterson as he prepares for this week’s conference, ‘and if we scale up our work now, we can end AIDS by 2030 – one of the global goals committed to by world leaders at the UN Sustainable Development Summit last year. But we know that a supportive legal environment will be critical to this success.

According to UNAIDS, at least 36 million people worldwide are HIV positive. While new infections are declining in some regions, they are on the rise in others and among different population groups. 

IDLO Program at AIDS2016, July 18 – 22 

South African Standard Time

Monday 18

Online launch of a special issue on Police, Law Enforcement and HIV by the Journal of the International AIDS Society (JIAS) - Exploring the role of law enforcement and police in HIV preventionView or download

Tuesday 19

10.00: Oral poster discussion and poster exhibition abstract - Legal services: essential to national responses, yes, but what about quality and coverage? View online

Wednesday 20

13.00 - 14.30: Panel sessions including IDLO's Olga Perez - Funding and Fast-Tracking Human Rights in the HIV ResponseSession information

14.00: Media Launch for special issue on Police, Law Enforcement and HIV by the Journal of the International AIDS Society (JIAS). The session will include a panel discussion, moderated by Dr Nick Thomson, Law Enforcement and HIV Network (LEAHN)/ Johns Hopkins University / University of Melbourne, and include a number of experts and country representatives. Watch livestream 

Thursday 21

16.30 - 18.00: Public session on Police, Rights and HIV in the Global Village, Human Rights Networking Zone – hosted by IDLO and LEAHNSession information


Live coverage of the Humans Rights Networking Zone TBC

Press Release

JIAS Special Issue Launch - July 20


The power of the law in combating HIV (Reliefweb)


IDLO's work on HIV/AIDS

Twitter #HIVHumanRights

International AIDS Conference 2016


Special issue: Police, Law Enforcement and HIV

Information sheet: Ten reasons for HIV legal services

Toolkit: Scaling up HIV-related legal services (multiple languages)

Publication: Human rights protections in the law related to HIV and AIDS in Benin

















The IDLO HIV & law program is financed by the Ford Foundation and OFID. OFID is the development finance institution of OPEC Member States, established to provide financial support for socio-economic development, particularly in low-income countries.