Laos: Legislators consider HIV-specific law allowing “prosecution of wrongdoers”

A brief report from the German News Agency, dpa, suggests that leglislators in Laos are considering a new HIV-specific law that will include criminal exposure or transmission provisions.

The law would also introduce the “prosecution of wrongdoers,” the report said.

Some of Laos’ neighbouring countries, including Cambodia, China, and Vietnam already have statutes that allow for such prosecution, although Myanmar and Thailand have so far resisted such laws.

“As a transit country, the trend is towards more exchanges of people and goods between neighboring countries,” Minister of Health Ponmek Dalaloy told the assembly Wednesday.”There will be more hotels and entertainment venues offering sex services and injected drugs,” Ponmek said in support of the legislation, which would promote public education about the virus. “All these factors could cause the virus to spread unless strong prevention measures are put in place,” he argued.