HIV Policy Report: Policy Barriers to HIV Progress




About HIV policy lab

The HIV Policy Lab is a unique collaboration between academic, United Nations, and civil society organizations to track, measure, and improve the HIV-related law and policy environment in countries around the world. The HIV Policy Lab research and accountability platform systematically identifies and visualizes policies adopted by countries around the world and how those align with international norms. It is an open, living global public resource that draws information from legal documents, government reporting, and independent analyses to create data that can be compared across countries and across issues. The HIV Policy Lab seeks not just to document, but to improve the policy environment by partnering with governments, public health officials, financing agencies, and civil society groups to support learning across countries and science-based policy change. The Policy Lab also provides researchers with cross-national data on policies so we can learn more about the impacts and drivers of policy choices—recognizing that what works in a research setting might not work when taken to scale through policy-making. HIVrelated laws and policies can have life and death consequences. We need to measure them, evaluate them, and change them to meet the evolving context on the path towards ending the global AIDS pandemic.


The state of the science around ending HIV has never been better, but slow translation of scientific advances into laws and policies is a major barrier to progress in the fight against HIV. Laws and policies drive who has access to the benefits of science, how people living with and affected by HIV are treated, how health systems are structured, and how officials engage with communities. This report presents the state of HIV policy in countries around the world in 2020. Drawing on data from the HIV Policy Lab, it tracks which countries have adopted 33 key HIV-related laws and policies recommended by UNAIDS and WHO and which have not. Overall it shows that policy barriers exist throughout the world that undermine access to high-quality HIV treatment and prevention and increase people’s vulnerability to HIV infection and death. Not a single country has adopted all 33 recommended policies—policy change is needed everywhere in order to end AIDS.

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