Around 22% of adults are living with HIV in Botswana and there were an estimated 9,700 new HIV infections in 2016. Although there is a strong national response to HIV with free HIV treatment available for everyone who needs it, human rights violations towards people living with HIV is undermining the response.
We work with the Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA) to champion the rights of people living with HIV and ensure justice and dignity for all people affected by HIV in Botswana. BONELA has a wide scope of activities to achieve this aim, including education and community outreach work, providing legal assistance, and carrying out research and advocacy.
In 2014, BONELA set up a legal aid database through which they refer and track cases of human rights abuses against key populations. Their work reaches employers, schools, health service providers, and government departments.
In 2016, BONELA achieved much to reduce stigma and discrimination against vulnerable populations in Botswana. The organisation supported the successful registration of the country’s first LGBTI organisation, LEGABIBO. They also reached over 70,500 people with stigma and discrimination reduction activities.