HIV anti-discrimination efforts have been ongoing in Mexico for years. Representation image. Shutterstock/ jannoon028

The government-run commission for human rights in Mexico urged ten of the country's 32 states on Wednesday, Apr. 26, to repeal antiquated laws that forbid marriages between people with "chronic, incurable, hereditary, or contagious diseases," claiming that such laws could discriminate against those who are HIV-positive or living with AIDS.

The suggestion of the National Human Rights Commission was addressed to the governors of the state legislatures. The states are required to answer the call or provide justification for their refusal.

Such regulations were previously a typical response to diseases that were not well understood or were thought to be a strategy to stop birth abnormalities.

Ten outlying states still have them even though they have slowly disappeared, ABC News reported.

Those states are Chiapas, Guerrero, Quintana Roo and Oaxaca in the south, Querétaro, Puebla and Guanajuato in the central region and Durango, Sinaloa and Nuevo León in the north.

According to the commission, the Supreme Court of Mexico has already ruled that the person getting married must be the only one to determine whether there is any potential danger of infection from marrying someone who has an infectious disease.

HIV anti-discrimination efforts have been ongoing in Mexico for years. Some of these laws, which focus on people passing on a sexually transmitted infection, go back as far as the 1920s or 1930s, but some were updated in the 1980s and 1990s to include HIV, said reports.

There has never been any evidence that these laws serve the purpose to protect the health of any community.

A common argument for HIV criminalization laws is that they protect women from partners who might be dishonest about their HIV status. But these laws do not promote honesty or heal violence in relationships.

Furthermore, as advocates and health professionals try every day to make HIV drugs accessible to everyone living with HIV, these laws make that work harder by increasing stigma and discrimination.

Criminalization isn't the only concern for people living with HIV in Mexico. The country has also had issues with HIV treatment access in the past years.

No one should be punished simply because they have a health condition. But in many areas of the world, laws and practices unfairly punish people living with HIV because of their HIV-positive status.

In other words, people living with HIV can face criminal charges for engaging in acts that would not be considered criminal if a person who is not living with HIV engaged in them, such as having consensual sex (both people agree to have sex) with another adult.

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