Tunisia

© Frontline AIDS

We’re on the frontline of AIDS in Tunisia, supporting people most affected by HIV to access the health services they need.

Compared to other countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, Tunisia reports more frequent and consistent data on the HIV epidemic.

As well as data providing an overview of how HIV affects marginalised populations, we consider the structural and legal barriers that prevent these groups from accessing HIV services.

For example, same-sex sexual conduct is criminalised. As a result, Tunisian lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people face frequent violence, stigma and discrimination.

Sex work is regulated and vagrancy and loitering laws are used to prosecute sex workers. This constant threat of prosecution can deter people from accessing HIV services, for fear of having their behaviour outed.

People who use drugs face a similar continuous threat; drug use is criminalised in Tunisia and people are often blamed for the commission of other crimes, suffering mistreatment at the hands of the police.

In 2018, Tunisia celebrated two policy change successes that give hope to the most marginalised communities and people affected by HIV in Tunisia.

  • Tunisia’s parliament passed the “Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination” Act. The law gives rights to the 10 to 15% of Tunisians who identify as black, as well as the country’s 60,000 sub-Saharan African immigrants. Migrants are a marginalised community at greater risk of HIV.
  • The cabinet of Tunisia approved a bill that means male and female heirs receive equal inheritance shares, the first Arab country to do so.

Our programme activities in Tunisia seek to uphold the human rights of those most affected by HIV.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • 3,000 people are living with HIV in Tunisia.
  • 31% of people living with HIV are on antiretroviral treatment.
  • 23% of pregnant women receive antiretroviral treatment to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV

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