Laws, Legal Policies & Practices 

Since the first case of HIV was diagnosed in Zambia, the Government has shown political will and commitment to invest in the AIDS response. The legal framework and practices have set the tone for how country will ensure a supportive environment to protect all Zambian’s rights including People Living with HIV, women and children and other key populations. 

An enabling policy and legal framework ensures that an equitable and consistent approach is followed. Zambia has made some strides to create a legal and policy environment to implement its HIV-related activities to reach all Zambians equitably. It has also enshrined the rights of its people and communities to equal access to HIV related services through its commitments to key international provisions such as the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). 

However, challenges exist which marginalize some Zambian citizens from accessing mainstream HIV services. Whilst levels of stigma around HIV have reduced, encouraging more people to come forward for testing and treatment, it is still a significant barrier to equitable access to HIV services. Young people often feel judged when visiting health services and men see many HIV-related services as heavily geared towards issues they consider female such as eMTCT. This demonstrates that whilst service access has significantly improved, implementation of strategies to increase scale-up are not necessarily being implemented evenly. Some groups of people are marginalised from mainstream services. These laws effectively exclude sex workers from easily accessing HIV services to prevent infections or to access treatment.