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A CONCEPT paper prepared for the Ministry of Health said Jamaica’s buggery law "negatively impacts policy implementation" in the fight against HIV/AIDS as it "makes it difficult for reporting and treatment and prevention programmes for the MSM (men who have sex with men) population".
Jamaica’s buggery law, which is contained in the Offences Against the Person Act, prohibits anal sex between men, in public or in private. It is punishable by 10 years in prison with hard labour.
The paper, which is part of the revision of the National HIV Policy, argues that there are gaps in Jamaica’s Charter of Rights, and that the protection against discrimination is not being afforded to homosexual males as a result of the buggery law.
"The pace of legislative reform and policy adoption in Jamaica is generally slow, and even more so since many parliamentarians and other persons of influence do not see HIV as a priority and many are uncomfortable with HIV-related issues. Many legal and legislative gaps remain that will significantly impact the HIV response in years to come," the paper said.
It further argued that the absence of a general or comprehensive anti-discrimination legislative and policy framework is hampering efforts to redress incidents of stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV.
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