KIGALI - Legal activists have called for increased awareness on HIV/AIDS among vulnerable groups, saying this will enable the success of legislation as a way of fighting the scourge.
The call was made at the launch of the Universal Access for Women and Girls’ Project and the Forum for Activists against HIV/AIDS (FAAS) at Kigali Serena hotel.
Professor Hansungule Michelo from the University of Pretoria, said that the move would empower women and girls who constitute the biggest number of HIV/AIDS victims in Africa to gain confidence to fight the spread of the disease.
He underscored the relevance of legislation in curbing the scourge, saying that this effectively deals with people who knowingly transmit the disease to others.
“We need to reach a point where a woman can go to a police station and report a case in relation to an HIV/AIDS transmission. This will mean that vulnerable people can now make use of the legislative interventions in place,” Michelo said.
The event also marked the launch of a two-day training workshop for judges, prosecutors, advocates and judicial police.
In his opening remarks, the Vice President of the Supreme Court, Prof Sam Rugege, said that HIV/AIDS had taken a terrible human toll.
“It threatens man’s very existence as a human being. We therefore need to make every effort, try every available approach, in order to defeat this threat,” he said.
Rugege added that the greatest hope in eliminating the pandemic forever would be in preventing new infections, especially among young people.
The President of the East African Law Society (EALS) Dr Tom Ojienda, said that the East African Community (EAC) is looking at coming up with a single law on the fight against the scourge in the region.