Kenya: HIV Tribunal Finally Gets Down to Business

Published: July 5, 2011

Nairobi — The rights of people living with HIV received a boost on Tuesday when a tribunal to handle their complaints was inaugurated, two years after members were appointed.
The seven-member HIV and Aids Tribunal will handle complaints on transmission of HIV, confidentiality, testing, access to healthcare, discrimination and policies, as well as HIV-related research.
And the special tribunal warned that it would no longer be business as usual for those who have been discriminating against people with Aids.
The tribunal is authorised to hear and determine complaints or appeals arising from any breach of the HIV and Aids Prevention and Control Act, excluding criminal jurisdiction.
The tribunal has the mandate to summon witnesses, take evidence, and recommend action to be taken on anyone who is found guilty of discriminating against people on the basis of their HIV/Aids status.
Some of the cases lined up for the tribunal include discrimination against people living with HIV at work place, schools, colleges, foreign embassies and even at home.
According to the Act, it is an offence to conduct a HIV test on a person with disability or a minor without the written consent of a guardian.
The Act says that the tribunal has the powers to make an order; "for the payment of damages in respect of any proven financial loss, including future loss, or in respect of impairment of dignity, pain and suffering or emotional and psychological suffering as a result of the discrimination in question."

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