To the State of Mississippi
To the Governor of
- Support provisions of the Patient Protection and
Affordable Care Act of 2010 (health care reform legislation) that would
increase access to health services for people living with HIV/AIDS in
Mississippi, including expansion of community health centers, improvement
of access to health care providers, and expanded eligibility for Medicaid.
To the Mississippi
- Increase state investment in HIV/AIDS prevention, care,
and essential services such as housing and transportation.
- Expand the income eligibility threshold for Medicaid and
expand HIV-related benefits and services including coverage for drug
dependence treatment and increased coverage for prescription drugs.
- Ensure that state agencies are authorized to maximize
federal funding for HIV-related services including Medicaid, HIV prevention,
housing, and transportation.
- Repeal statutory requirements for abstinence-only sex and
HIV education and replace them with requirements for comprehensive sex
education that includes scientifically accurate information about HIV/AIDS
and condoms as a method of prevention and ensures that teachers,
administrators, and other state officials are not permitted to restrict
accurate information about HIV prevention. Ensure that all sex and
HIV/AIDS education materials are inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and
- Repeal HIV-specific criminal laws that penalize behavior related
to HIV disclosure, exposure, and transmission in light of evidence that
these laws undermine public health and human rights.
- Repeal statutory prohibitions on adoption by homosexuals.
- Repeal the constitutional amendment banning marriage
between couples of the same sex.
- Remove all statutory references to invalid criminal laws
prohibiting sodomy between consenting adults.
- Increase support for legal services for low-income
residents including those living with HIV and AIDS.
To the Mississippi Department of Health:
- Take all necessary steps to ensure that department policy
reflects a commitment to protect the human rights of all who come into
contact with the STD/HIV Office or other public health services, including
the establishment of a Patient’s Bill of Rights, the revision of all
relevant forms to comply with human rights standards, the improvement of
training and supervision of Disease Intervention Specialists (DISs) and
other Department of Health employees, the establishment of a consumer
advisory board, and the realization of other recommendations set forth in
the report prepared by the State Health Access Research Project (SHARP).
- Increase efforts to maximize federal funding for HIV/AIDS
prevention, treatment, and essential services such as housing and
To the Mississippi Department
of Human Services:
- Ensure adequate access to affordable services for sexual
and reproductive health. Terminate the “Just Wait” abstinence
program and replace it with comprehensive sex education that includes complete,
scientifically accurate information about HIV/AIDS and other sexually
To the Office of
- Increase the income eligibility threshold to ensure
adequate access to health services for low-income people living with
- Repeal the state requirement for face-to-face interviews
for initial and continued Medicaid eligibility.
- Support the expanded income eligibility for Medicaid
provided by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. Apply
for a waiver under section 1115 of the Social Security Act to receive
federal matching funds for immediate expansion of Medicaid to people
living with HIV who are not disabled.
To the United States Government
To the Congress of the
- Ensure adequate funding for implementation of the National
AIDS Strategy including improved access to prevention, treatment, and
essential services such as housing and transportation.
- Ensure adequate HIV/AIDS funding for all regions and
ensure that funds for both medical care and housing are targeted to
regions, states, and communities that reflect current epidemiological data
and where prevention, treatment, and essential services such as housing
and transportation are most needed.
supporting or funding abstinence-only education and continue to support
and fund comprehensive sex education that includes scientifically accurate
information about HIV/AIDS and the use of condoms as a method of
prevention. Ensure that all such materials are inclusive of lesbian, gay,
bisexual, and transgender youth.
To federal agencies
including the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office of National
AIDS Policy, and Department of Health and Human Services:
- Establish clear policy guidelines regarding laws that
criminalize behavior related to HIV disclosure, exposure, and transmission
to ensure public awareness that these laws undermine public health and
human rights while failing to promote either public health or criminal
justice. Provide technical assistance to states to repeal and/or revise
these laws as recommended in the National AIDS Strategy.
Continue the current
trend away from funding abstinence-only education and ensure that adequate
guidelines, funding, and technical assistance are available at the state
and local levels to provide comprehensive sex education that includes scientifically
accurate information about HIV/AIDS and condoms as a method of prevention.
- Consider establishing a “race to the top”
program, similar to that in place for education in the United States, that
provides financial incentives for states whose HIV/AIDS policies result in
measurable progress while complying with public health and human rights
To the United Nations
To the United Nations Committees on Human Rights, Economic, Social and Cultural
Rights, and Racial Discrimination; and to the United Nations Special
Rapporteurs on the Right to the Highest Attainable Standard of Health and
Contemporary forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related
Intolerance; and the United Nations Human Rights Council:
- Call upon the United States to comply with its international
obligations to eliminate disparate racial impact in public health
including the disparate racial impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
- Call upon the United States to improve oversight,
establish incentives, and take other necessary steps to ensure compliance
with human rights obligations at the state and local level.