As the first lawyer to participate in Fogarty’s Global Health Fellows and Scholars program, Neiloy Sircar examined human rights and HIV in Kenya. The country has been encouraging testing and notification of partners and children who may be at risk as part of its strategy to control HIV and link more people with treatment. Sircar and the research team wanted to know if those practices and policies are effectively using what’s known as a rights-based approach, especially when it comes to consent, privacy and confidentiality.
“Are these programs actually protecting, promoting and fulfilling the human rights of those people who are benefitting from the programs? And if they are, how are they doing it? And if they aren’t, let’s identify ways to improve,” Sircar said of the rationale for his fellowship project, which was supported by Fogarty and the Afya Bora fellowship program. He was hosted by a prominent NGO known as KELIN - the Kenya Legal and Ethical Issues Network on HIV and AIDS - and was mentored by its director, along with faculty from the University of Washington. Sircar studied human rights and global health law at Georgetown University.