A new report on HIV/Aids, entitled, “HIV and the Law: Rights, Risks, and Health.”published by the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Global Commission on HIV and the Law, calls on the governments of the world to legalize prostitution and drug use and remove all laws based on traditional public morality.
The report claims that the law “dehumanizes many of those at highest risk for HIV: sex workers, transgender people, men who have sex with men (MSM), people who use drugs, prisoners, and migrants.” This is particularly true according to the report in “governments influenced by conservative interpretations of religion,” where “people suffer and die because of inequality, ignorance, intolerance, and indifference.”
On the legalization of prostitution the report calls on governments to ensure an effective, sustainable response to HIV that is consistent with their description of “human rights obligations”:
"3.2. Countries must reform their approach towards sex work. Rather than punishing consenting adults involved in sex work, countries must ensure safe working conditions and offer sex workers and their clients access to effective HIV and health services and commodities. Countries must:3.2.1 Repeal laws that prohibit consenting adults to buy or sell sex, as well as laws that otherwise prohibit commercial sex, such as laws against “immoral” earnings, “living off the earnings” of prostitution and brothel-keeping. Complementary legal measures must be taken to ensure safe working conditions to sex workers."
On the legalization of drug use the report claims that;
"Where governments promulgate harm reduction, such as clean needle distribution programmes and safe injection sites, HIV infection rates among people who use drugs can drop significantly."
The report concludes that nations could fight AIDS if they “repeal laws that prohibit consenting adults to buy or sell sex, as well as laws that otherwise prohibit commercial sex, such as laws against ‘immoral’ earnings, ‘living off the earnings’ of prostitution and brothel-keeping.”
The report actually disparages laws based on morality, it completely ignores the behavioural risks of MSM and the problems which would ensue from the removal of laws on prostitution and drug use.
The report can be accessed via this link