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HIV/AIDS legal services

HIV/AIDS Legal Centre

Every court case we take on behalf of people with HIV moves us a step closer to eliminating the severe stigma and discrimination still faced by people living with HIV.

HIV Stigma and discrimination remains a fact of life in Australia today. In the last 12 months, HALC has seen almost 1,000 clients facing a range of complex legal matters related to their HIV status. 

 Some figures:

  •  a third of people with HIV live below the poverty line;
  • more than a quarter of HALC's clients are women;

  • half of people with HIV have difficulty meeting basic expenses like food, rent and medication;

  • half have been diagnosed with a mental health condition, and/or live with at least one other major health problem.

Last year our team of 4 solicitors and amazing volunteers delivered around 17,000 hours of legal support helping over 1,000 clients.

Here are some examples of the HIV-related legal matters that we deal with on a day to day basis:

  • Helping David to keep his job as a laboratory technician - his employer wanted to fire him when he found out he had HIV;
  • Helping to reunite spouses, families, parents and children, by assisting people to navigate the complex migration laws that affect migrants with HIV;

  • Representing asylum seekers with HIV and/or who identify as LGBTI with applications for refugee status in Australia;

  • Representing Stefan, who is at risk of homelessness and having his tenancy terminated;

  • Negotiating a successful outcome for Suzie, who was refused insurance by an insurer on the basis of her HIV status.

And many more.

HALCs work is not limited to individual casework - we produce printed resources, contribute to the reform of laws that affect people with HIV and run regular workshops for healthcare and legal professionals, university students and the wider community about HIV and the law.

We don't shy away from running test cases that have a wider impact on the legal playing field, for example:

  • a successful appeal to the High Court of Australia in a case establishing when a person can be said to have intended an outcome from their conduct,
  • a number of cases challenging major insurers' discriminatory policies which allow them to refuse to provide insurance cover to people living with HIV.a case to the Federal Court challenging the Australian Defence Force's discriminatory policies which allow it to terminate a members employment, or to refuse to employ a person with HIV;

  • a number of court cases challenging unlawful decisions of the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection;

  • detailed submissions regarding legislative reforms to the Ministry of Health in respect of the review of the NSW Public Health Act 2010.

We are supported by a dedicated team of remarkable volunteers who allow us to assist twice as many people as we would otherwise be able to. Our volunteers are recent law graduates, law students, and qualified solicitors and barristers, all of whom give up their time to help people with HIV.

With your support we can make sure that this important work continues.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT! 

Are donations tax deductible? Yes

Will I receive a receipt for my donation?
Yes, immediately sent to you by email when approved.

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