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The Center for Reproductive Rights and Vivo Positivo have launched a new fact-finding report about Chilean health facilities discriminating against, and often forcibly sterilizing, HIV-positive women.

Through interviews and stories from 27 HIV-positive women in Chile, “Dignity Denied: Violations of the Rights of HIV-Positive Women in Chilean Health Facilities,” reports how Chilean women living with HIV are routinely denied care, verbally abused, given misleading or inaccurate health information, and pressured to agree to sterilization—or sterilized without their consent. Of the 16 women who were interviewed and were sterilized, only four said that they made a fully informed and voluntary choice to have the procedure.

Building on  F.S. v Chile (a case the two organizations filed before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on behalf of a Chilean woman who was sterilized without her consent during a cesarean), the 2009-2010 study challenges impunity around forced sterilization of HIV-positive women by establishing it as a form of torture or cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment.  “Forced sterilization is a violation of a woman’s most basic human rights and is all too often committed against members of vulnerable groups, which deserve special protection, such as women living with HIV,” said Luisa Cabal, director of the international program at the Center for Reproductive Rights. “It’s time that the Chilean government respect the human rights of all its citizens and take concrete action to guarantee that a woman living with HIV receives quality reproductive health services and has the ability to make decisions about her own life.”

To learn more about their stories, click here for the full report.

The Center will also hold a hearing on the rights of HIV-positive women in the Americas before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on October 26.  For more information, please visit their website.

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  1. Launch of Report on Chile, Human Rights, and Discrimination against HIV-Positive Women http://wp.me/ploC4-Kd

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