World leaders have committed to ending AIDS by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals, but stigma and discrimination remain significant obstacles. In particular, police are critical, front-line determinants of risk for many people living with HIV (PLHIV) and members of other key affected populations (KAPs). The negative impact of adverse police behaviors and practices on HIV risk is well documented, and these risks undermine global efforts to end AIDS. Far less well documented, and less common, are attempts to ameliorate this impact by working to change police behaviors. This special issue released by the Journal of the International Aids Society and co-edited by the IDLO's Senior Legal Health Expert David Patterson, seeks to help redress this imbalance by presenting a selection of original, provocative and important interventions from academics, police officers and other stakeholders concerned with documenting the potential for constructive, progressive and evidence-based approaches to the reduction of HIV risk.
The authors recommend urgent boosting of efforts and funding to engage police in the HIV response. Among other strategies, this needs sustainable funding of programmes and their evaluation, and increased and continuing advocacy and education at all levels to match policy and law reform.
The views expressed in this supplement are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Law Enforcement and HIV Network (LEAHN), the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) or its Member Parties, or the Centre For Law Enforcement & Public Health (CLEPH).
This supplement was originally posted on the Journal of the International Aids Society's website here.
1. A round table meeting on July 20, 2016, in Durban, South Africa, brought together researchers, police, HIV programme implementers, civil society and donors representatives to discuss "Enhancing Partnerships Between Law Enforcement, Criminal Justice and HIV Programmes, working with Key Populations: Opportunities in South Africa". Read the meeting report here.
2. Take a look here at IDLO's contribution to the 2016 AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa.