The Constitution includes many rights but most important for people living with HIV and Aids are the socio-economic rights, such as the right to basic health care, education, social services, shelter, and so on. The government has a duty over time to make it possible for people to use their socio-economic rights.
|Section in the
Bill of Rights
||WHAT IT MEANS FOR YOU IF YOU ARE LIVING WITH HIV OR AIDS
Everyone has inherent dignity and the right to have their dignity respected and protected
|A person or institution, such as hospital or company, may not insult or take away your self-respect, by their words or actions.
||Freedom and security of person
Includes the right to:
- make decisions about reproduction
- security and control over your body
- not be subjected to medical or scientific experiments without your informed consent
|You have the right to take your own decisions about medical treatment and pregnancy e.g. you cannot be forced to have an HIV test. You may not be treated in a cruel or degrading way by any person or institution.
Everyone has the right to privacy.
|You have the right to keep the fact that you have HIV or AIDS to yourself. An employer or hospital cannot force you to tell them, or force you to have an HIV test.
||Freedom of expression
Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, which includes freedom to receive or impart information or ideas.
|Proper information can be made available in schools or prisons about how to prevent HIV.
||Freedom of association
Everyone has the right to freedom of association.
|You can join any organisation you choose. You cannot be forcefully separated from other people.
||Freedom of movement and residence
Everyone has the right to:
- move about freely
- enter, remain in or leave the country
- reside anywhere in the country
|You are free to move around the country. You cannot be forced to live in a separate place, away from the rest of society.
||Freedom of trade, occupation and profession
Every citizen has the right to choose their work freely.
|You can choose what kind of work you want to do e.g. you may not be told that you cannot be a teacher or a health care worker.
Everyone has the right to fair labour practices.
|You may not be unfairly discriminated against at work.
Everyone has the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being.
|This right may be important for people living in a state institution such as a prison or psychiatric hospital.
Everyone has the right to have access to adequate housing. No-one may be evicted from their home, or have their home demolished without a court order.
|You may not be refused a subsidy or loan to buy a house because you have HIV or AIDS. It is unlawful to evict you from your home because of your health.
||Health care, food, water and social security
No-one may be refused emergency medical treatment.
Everyone has the right of access to:
- health care services, including reproductive care
- social security, including appropriate social assistance if they are unable to support themselves and their dependants
|Hospitals or medical people cannot refuse to treat you.
You have the right to a disability grant if you are too ill to support yourself or your family.
Everyone has the right to a basic education, including adult basic education.
|You have the same right as anyone else to education. A school cannot refuse to educate you or your child because you have HIV or AIDS.
||Access to information
Everyone has the right to see any information held by another person that they need in order to exercise or protect their rights.
|If for example you feel your rights are being violated because of a company policy, you can demand to see the policy and may then challenge it in court. You have the same right with private institutions or the state , for example an organisation, or your medical records at a state hospital.
||Just administrative action
Everyone whose rights have been negatively affected by administrative action, has the right to be given written reasons. This includes reasons for very long delays.
|If you believe that you are being refused a social service (e.g. a house or education) for unjust reasons, you can demand to get the reasons in writing. You may then decide to challenge the decision.
||Arrested, detained and accused people
Everyone who is detained, including every sentenced prisoner, has the right to conditions of detention that are consistent with dignity.
|Prisoners cannot be discriminated against or treated in an undignified way just because they have HIV or AIDS.