Protection of Human Rights and Barriers for People with HIV/AIDS in Colombia: An Analysis of the Legal Framework
2. Materials and Methods
2.1. Study Design
3.1. Legislation on HIV/AIDS in Colombia
3.2. Criminal Legislation on HIV/AIDS in Colombia
3.3. Obstacles Faced by People with HIV/AIDS at the Judicial Level in Colombia
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Chapter 1||Art. 1. Scope of application. The provisions contemplated in this decree apply to all persons without distinction, throughout the national territory.|
Art. 2. Technical definitions. A set of definitions are presented (e.g., self-care, risk conditions, prevalence, etc.).
|Chapter 2||Art. 3. Diagnosis. The diagnosis corresponds to an exercise in the field of medicine.|
Art. 4. Indications for diagnostic tests. The purpose of the diagnosis will serve for confirmation of suspected HIV; epidemiological studies; individual request of the interested person; rule out the presence of HIV.
Art. 5. Performance of diagnostic tests. They will be carried out in public or private laboratories.
Art. 6. Delivery of test results. The results will be delivered by medical professionals or other trained health team members to the patient.
Art. 7. Person infected with HIV. It will be the asymptomatic person and therefore does not have AIDS.
Art. 8. Obligation of attention. No person who provides health services can refuse to provide care to people with HIV or AIDS. Failure to provide care will result in punishable conduct.
Art. 9. Comprehensive healthcare. This may be outpatient, hospital, home or community care, and will be directed toward prevention, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, and adaptation. This includes drugs that are considered effective for improving the quality of life of those affected.
Art. 10. Updating the health team. Public or private health entities must promote and provide information, training, and education pertaining to STDs, HIV, and AIDS, with the aim of keeping health professionals updated.
Art. 11. Preparation of the family or those responsible for the patient. The health team will train the person responsible for the patient and those who live with the patient to provide adequate care.
|Chapter 3||Art. 12. Promotion. This implies respect for people’s right to self-determination in terms of their sexual habits and conduct.|
Art. 13. Prevention. This will guarantee access to education and information; social and health services; and environmental support and tolerance based on respect for human rights.
Art. 14. Intersectoriality in terms of promotion and prevention. National agencies and private health entities must carry out promotion and prevention activities.
Art. 15. Protocols for comprehensive care for HIV/AIDS. The Ministry of Health will issue standards for the promotion, prevention, and care of HIV/AIDS patients, in accordance with universal scientific principles.
Art. 16. Education for sexual and reproductive health. The Ministry of Education, in coordination with the Ministry of Health, will promote responsible, healthy, and ethical sexuality in children and young people. Sex education in educational institutions will be performed with the participation of the entire educational community, emphasizing the promotion of responsible attitudes and behaviors that allow the development of autonomy, self-esteem, the values of coexistence, and the preservation of sexual health; factors that contribute to the prevention of HIV/AIDS.
Art. 17. Dissemination of messages. The Ministry of Communications will adopt the necessary mechanisms for targeted promotional messages to be broadcasted through the mass media to specific populations, to prevent HIV/AIDS and non-discrimination toward people with HIV/AIDS.
Art. 18. Participation of NGOs. The Ministry of Health will support coordinated planning and execution of actions by NGOs, to train leaders and promote awareness of and prevent HIV/AIDS.
Art. 19. Obligations of health-promoting entities (EPS). EPS are obligated to engage in promotion and prevention activities, and to provide assistance.
Art. 20. Case information. The health sector must report cases of HIV/AIDS, as well as other STIs, to the Territorial Directorates of Health. Otherwise, it will be punishable conduct.
Art. 21. Prohibition to perform diagnostic tests. Prohibition of the requirement for testing to access educational, sports, social or rehabilitation centers; to access the workforce and achieve a permanent place therein; to enter or reside in the country; to access health services; enter or carry out cultural, social, political, economic or religious activities.
Art. 22. Carrying out tests in blood and organ banks. Blood and organ donors should be tested for HIV.
Art. 23. Biosafety. Public and private healthcare entities, laboratories, blood banks, and other related entities must take universal security measures into account.
Art. 24. Availability of condoms. Pharmacies, drugstores, and other outlets must guarantee the availability of condoms.
Art 25. Prohibition of requirement for identity cards. The requirement of an identity card or certificate with reference to HIV/AIDS or other STIs is prohibited.
Art. 26. Surveillance of NGOs. NGOs providing services related to HIV/AIDS will be subject to assessment and surveillance.
|Chapter 4||Art. 27. Norms for therapeutic research. Subject to the Declaration of Helsinki, until specific internal legal provisions are issued.|
Art. 28. Incentive for research. The Ministry of Health will promote research on HIV/AIDS.
Art. 29. Epidemiological investigation. The anonymity of individuals must be guaranteed.
|Chapter 5||Art. 30. Duties of the community. People should practice the necessary self-care and prevention measures to prevent the infection and spread of HIV.|
Art. 31. Duties of health entities and health team members. Obligation to provide comprehensive care for people with HIV/AIDS.
Art. 32. Duty of confidentiality. Medical professionals must maintain the confidentiality of people with HIV/AIDS.
Art. 33. Clinical history. Private document whereby, to be known by third parties, authorization from the owner or according to law is necessary.
Art. 34. Disclosure of professional secrecy. For health reasons, the doctor may reveal information to an infected person; relatives (if pertinent to treatment); those responsible for the infected person (if they are minors or mentally incompetent); interested parties in danger of infection, the spouse, sexual partner or offspring; and judicial or health authorities if required by law.
Art. 35. Employment status. Workers are not required to tell their employers if they have HIV/AIDS. The rights of workers will be guaranteed in accordance with the corresponding labor legal provisions. In addition, the employer must relocate the person with HIV/AIDS if necessary and being infected cannot be cause for dismissal.
Art. 36. Duty to inform. The person with HIV/AIDS must inform their sexual partner and the doctor or health team from whom they request assistance to ensure proper treatment and prevent the spread of the virus.
Art. 37. Right to informed consent. Informed consent will be required to conduct prevalence assessments or surveys.
Art. 38. Deprivation of liberty. Prisoners cannot be forced to undergo HIV testing.
Art. 39. Right to non-discrimination. Persons with HIV/AIDS, their children, and relatives, may not be denied entry or permanence in educational, public or private, assistance or rehabilitation centers, nor access to any work activity or permanence therein, for this reason, nor will they be discriminated against for any reason.
Art. 40. Prohibition of diagnostic test requirements for access to services. Health entities may not require HIV diagnostic tests for access to protection and health services.
Art. 41. Duty not to infect. The person with HIV must refrain from donating blood, semen or organs, as well as from carrying out activities that may infect other people.
Art. 42. Right to sexual promotion, prevention, and education. All citizens have this right.
Art. 43. Right to information on health status. All citizens have this right.
Art. 44. Right to die with dignity. All citizens have this right.
Art. 45. Burial or cremation. People with HIV have this right.
|Chapter 6||Art. 46. Organizational structure. Institutions and coordination mechanisms are to be established in relation to HIV/AIDS, which are established in the following articles.|
Art. 47. National AIDS Council. This council is intended to be a permanent adjunct to the Ministry of Health and will be composed of: (a) Minister of Health or his Vice Minister, who will preside over it; (b) Minister of Education or its Vice Minister; (c) Minister of Communications or its Deputy Minister; (d) Minister of Labor or his Deputy Minister; (e) Ombudsman or his delegate; (f) Director of the Colombian Institute of Family Welfare or his delegate; (g) Director of the National Institute of Health; (h) Director of the National Institute for Food and Drug Surveillance; (i) Head of the National Program for the Prevention and Control of STDs and AIDS; (j). Coordinator of the National Project of Sexual Education of the Ministry of Education; (k) Delegate of the UNAIDS Theme Group for Colombia; (l) Two legally constituted representatives of NGOs fighting AIDS, appointed by the National Coordinating Table of NGOs; (m) Man and woman infected with HIV, representatives of the Support and Self-support Groups, chosen by the Ministry of Health; (n) Representative of the Health Promoting Entities; (o) Representative of the National Television Commission; (p) Representative of the National Network of Blood Banks; (q) Representative of the Intersectoral, Departmental, and Municipal Committees chosen by the Ministry of Health.
Art.48. Functions. The National AIDS Council will develop and implement functions, such as: Proposing general policies for the promotion, prevention, and care of HIV/AIDS; recommend mechanisms to promote intersectoral participation; evaluate the development of the National Program for the Prevention and Control of STDs and AIDS; work toward securing financial resources; provide advice to aid the development of international projects, agreements or conventions; approve coordination mechanisms with other countries; draft its own regulations.
Art. 49. Meetings. The National AIDS Council will meet every 6 months or more frequently in certain circumstances.
Art. 50. Executive Committee. This committee will be created specifically in relation to HIV/AIDS and STIs and will be composed of (a) The General Director of Promotion and Prevention of the Ministry of Health; (b) The Head of the National Program for the Prevention and Control of STDs and AIDS; (c) The Head of Health Education of the Ministry of Health; (d) The Head of Sexual and Reproductive Health of the Human Development program of the Ministry of Health; and (e) The Head of Priority Actions in Health of the Ministry of Health.
Art. 51. Functions. The Executive Committee will direct the development of promotion, prevention, assistance, and control strategies; promote the participation of NGOs, people with HIV/AIDS, and other stakeholders; adopt UNAIDS recommendations; develop, direct, and evaluate the implementation of the National Program for the Prevention and Control of STIs and AIDS; present and deliver reports prior to the meetings of the National AIDS Council; regulate intersectoral committees; draft its own regulations.
Art. 52. Meetings. The Executive Committee will meet every 2 months and at the request of its members.
Art. 53. Functions of the General Coordinator. Fundamentally, the General Coordinator will convene and coordinate the activities of the Executive Committee.
Art. 54. Creation of territorial committees. Intersectoral committees are to be created on a permanent basis at the Sectional, District, and Local levels in relation to HIV/AIDS.
|Chapter 7||Art. 55. Spread of the epidemic. Failure to comply with articles 36 and 41 of this decree may lead to a complaint.|
Art. 56. Sanctions. Failure to comply with this decree may lead to sanctions: Fines in the amount of up to 200 monthly legal minimum wages; Intervention of the administrative and/or technical management of the entities that provide health services for up to a term of 6 months; Suspension or definitive loss of legal status of private persons who provide health services; Suspension or loss of authorization for the provision of health services.
Art. 57. Penalty process. This process can be started by anyone.
Art. 58. Provision of information to the competent authority. If the facts of the sanctioning process constitute a crime, the competent authority will be informed.
Art. 59. Complainant. You can intervene in the course of the procedure.
Art. 60. Existence of another process. The existence of another criminal process will not suspend the sanctioning process.
Art. 61. Research. Once the complaint is received, investigation of the facts will begin.
Art. 62. Cessation of procedure. This will occur when there is no evidence to support the investigation.
Art. 63. Formulation of charges. Once the investigations have been carried out, the offender will be charged.
Art. 64. Notification. Notification will be performed in person or by certified mail.
Art. 65. Releases. Once the notification is received, the offender will have 10 days to present their defense.
Art. 66. Tests. The competent authority will decree the appropriate tests within a maximum of 30 days.
Art. 67. Sanctions. Within 10 days of the term of the previous article expiring, the health authority will qualify the fault and impose the corresponding sanction.
Art. 68. Aggravating circumstances. These include acting with ignoble motives; carrying out the damaging act with the complicity of subordinate persons; failure to protect another; eschewing responsibility; taking advantage of a calamitous or dangerous situation; and premeditating the offence.
Art. 69. Mitigating circumstances. Good background; lack of clarity when it has influenced the fact; and attempts to repair the damage.
Art. 70. Exemption from liability. There is no liability when there has been no violation of the rules.
Art. 71. Notification of sanctions. Personal notification or via edict.
Art. 72. Sanctioning authority. These will include the Territorial Sectional, District or Local Directorate of Health.
Art. 73. Validity of the sanction. The proposal itself.
Art. 74. Validity. This decree repeals Decree 559 of 1991.
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Parra-Barrera, S.M.; Sánchez-Fuentes, M.d.M.; Moyano, N.; Granados, R. Protection of Human Rights and Barriers for People with HIV/AIDS in Colombia: An Analysis of the Legal Framework. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 11423. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191811423
Parra-Barrera SM, Sánchez-Fuentes MdM, Moyano N, Granados R. Protection of Human Rights and Barriers for People with HIV/AIDS in Colombia: An Analysis of the Legal Framework. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(18):11423. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191811423Chicago/Turabian Style
Parra-Barrera, Sandra M., María del Mar Sánchez-Fuentes, Nieves Moyano, and Reina Granados. 2022. "Protection of Human Rights and Barriers for People with HIV/AIDS in Colombia: An Analysis of the Legal Framework" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19, no. 18: 11423. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191811423