National Reviews and Multisectoral Consultations on Policy and Legal Barriers to Effective HIV Responses

National Reviews and Multisectoral Consultations on Policy and Legal Barriers to Effective HIV Responses

Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Databases and related outputs

The ESCAP Roadmap to 2015 includes the national reviews and multisectoral consultations on legal and policy barriers to effective HIV prevention, care, treatment and services as contained in commitments made under the 2011 Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS and ESCAP resolutions 66/10 and 67/9.

Guidance Document

To support Asia-Pacific stakeholders in organizing and conducting national reviews and consultations, the "Creating Enabling Legal Environments: Conducting National Reviews and Multisectoral Consultatons" guidance document is developed by ESCAP, UNAIDS Regional Team for Asia and the Pacific and UNDP Asia-Pacific Regional Centre. Download the document here.

Regional Progress

According to the information prepared by UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Asia and the Pacific and UNDP Asia-Pacific Regional Centre as well as the responses of the 2014 ESCAP intergovernmental survey on progress in achieving universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support in Asia and the Pacific, 27 ESCAP members and associate member States have initiated the review and/or consultation on legal and policy barriers to HIV responses. The following list summarizes the progress of the reviews and consultations conducted in the region.

If available, click icon next to the country name for the country's national review and for the national consultation report.


The national consultation was conducted in 2012. The country's Ministry of Public Health and National AIDS Control Programme were nominated to oversee the implementation of the recommendations arising from the consultation, namely issues relating to condom and clean sryinge distribution in closed settings.


Azerbaijan's multisectoral consultation concluded key recommendations that highlighted the prominence of integration and decentralization of HIV services and expansion of rapid testing for key populations.


The national multisectoral consultation was held in Dhaka on 18-19 May 2013. The consultation produced an action plan focused on five key populations - people living with HIV, female sex workers, men who have sex with men, transgender people (hijras), people who inject drugs and migrant workers - based on over 30 recommendations that were developed during the consultation.


The consultation, held on 25 May 2012, focused on MSM and transgender population. A broader consultation is scheduled for last quarter of 2014. No written review of laws has been undertaken at the national level. The Government of Bhutan, however, conducted a study that focused on the stigma among health care providers. The study is currently being copy edited.


Cambodia treated the national multisectoral consulation as an integral part of the national legal review process . The consultation, held on 16 - 17 September 2013, contributed to the finalization of the national review report by serving as consultative validation workshop where stakeholders with skills, expertise and experience came together to discuss key issues identified by the review and recommendations for moving forward.


Multisectoral and participatory consultation on the compulsory detention of people who use drugs was held on 30 - 31 July 2013. A second consultation later in 2014 is planned to address other legal barriers.


Both Indonesia's national review and multisectoral consultation, which was held on 11 - 12 September 2013, were directly linked to the country's midterm review process for its National HIV and AIDS Strategic Plan. The national review has been finalized in Indonesian language and its summary will be translated to English. The report of the consultation will be finalized soon.

Islamic republic of Iran

Key recommendations produced in the national multisectoral consultation of Islamic Republic of Iran included an effort to improve partnership between religous leaders and HIV programmes.


Japan treated the national legal review as a substantial input for the National AIDS Prevention Guidelines that had been revised in 2012. The review mainly highlighted the barriers faced by MSM population, foreigners living in the country and young people.


Malaysia conducted the national multisectoral consultation on October 2013. The consultation report, which is consolidated with the national review, is currently being finalized.


Mongolia's national legal review, which was conducted in 2012, contributed to the country's progress in monitoring and reforming laws and regulations relating to the protection for the rights of poeple living with HIV.


Myanmar's national consultation, which acted as the consultative validation of the national review, was convened on 25 - 26 November 2013. The civil society stakeholders in Myanmar are currently developing options for a national HIV law as a result of the review and consultation process.

Pacific Countries

A document consolidating national reviews from seven Pacific countries (Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu) has been published in May 2013. A subregional consultation involving the aforementioned countries was held in Fiji from 17 to 19 April 2013.

The country action plan developed at the consultation has been fully adopted by HIVAIDS Board of Fiji, which is overseeing its implementation.


Pakistan commissioned a comprehensive review of laws and policies affecting human rights, discrimination and access to HIV and health services by key affected populations subsequent to the 2012 Asia-Pacific High-level Intergovernmental Meeting on the Assessment of Progress against Commitments in the Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS.

The key recommendations of the review included proposals to form a law review committee in each province and arrange sensitization campaigns for the law enforcement agents.


The national consultation, which was held on 6 July 2012, took the form of a national dialogue meeting that occured against the backdrop of several separate and ongoing national review processes (such as a series of reviews and consultations on development of the revised AIDS law) and as a national level follow-up to the Asia-Pacific Regional Dialogue of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law.

Russian Federation

A written comprehensive national review of Russian Federation was conducted in the course of the development of the country’s national HIV strategy. The country also conducted the national consultation that concluded, among others, the importance of access to affordable antiretroviral medication.

Sri Lanka

On 27 February 2013, the AIDS Foundation of Sri Lanka convened a national roundtable meeting drawing upon information and data from the regional multisectoral consultation for South and South-West Asia, held in November 2011.


Tajikistan’s national review was part of the country’s 2013 evaluation of the implementation of the national HIV programmes. The review examined and suggested, among others, an abolition of HIV travel restrictions. The national consultation, on the other hand, discussed and recommended eradication of barriers to voluntary counseling and testing, antiretroviral treatment and outreach for key populations.


The national review report of Thailand was validated at the national consultation, which was convened on 29 August 2013. Both national review and consultation gave priority consideration to laws affecting people who inject drugs and implementation of policies relating to health insurance and migrant workers.

Viet Nam

Vietnam conducted a national consultation on HIV-related laws within the national policy dialogue on the review of law and administrative sanctions that was held on September 2012. The consultation produced recommendations that contributed to the process of reforming laws and policies relating to community-based care and treament for people who inject drugs.


Nepal is planning to conduct the national multisectoral consultation in the last quarter of 2014.


Note: In addition to the analysis above, the Asia-Pacific regional legal environment analysis conducted as part of the work of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law can be accessed here.