Legal Support for individuals living with HIV/AIDS

Centre for Life is a non-profit organization, founded in 1991 as an initiative of friends. Frank Olcvary played a leading part and was the inspiration and driving force of the association during its first years.

The Centre for Life, which focuses on the support of people living with HIV/AIDS throughout Greece, offers free of charge a multitude of services for the support (psychological, social, moral, financial, etc.) of people who have been diagnosed HIV positive or suffer from AIDS, as well as for the support of their families. Moreover, through nationwide campaigns, targeted activities to raise awareness and educational programmes, it informs the general public regarding the disease and protection methods, ultimately aiming at combating the social stigma that people living with HIV/AIDS experience. An important part of the activities of the Centre for Life is the Legal Service which has been operating since 2012 and offers specialised information on the rights of people living with HIV, in vital areas of social life, as well as selective legal representation in rights violation cases.

In 2019 the Foundation supported the work of the Centre for Life by partially covering the operating expenses of the Legal Service, so that it can continue its efforts to provide free legal support to people living with HIV/AIDS, without hindrance. The Legal Service of the Centre for Life is active in a wide range of fields, such as personal data protection, access to medical care, safeguarding labour rights, intervention in cases of discrimination, support for prisoners and exprisoners living with HIV, and the submission of proposals for the establishment of an institutional framework for the protection of the rights of people living with the virus.

Specifically, the legal adviser of the Centre for Life supports its visitors in the following ways:

  • Support access to healthcare by interfering with the competent nursing institutions (eg: refusal of medical services, exclusion from treatment, uninsured people living with HIV) and in cases of non-compliance of the institutions by filing reports and complaints at the independent administrative authorities and at the competent judicial body.
  • Interfere with the competent bodies in cases of violation of privacy (eg: HIV testing as a hiring prerequisite, non-consensual HIV testing, breach of confidentiality, indication of the condition in public documents).
  • Provide legal support and undertake judicial and extrajudicial actions in cases of usage of the HIV status of a person as a mean of blackmail from partners, coworkers, relatives or other parties.
  • Help people fill applications, memorandums, appeals and objections towards the settlement of administrative issuesthat people living with HIV might face (eg: refusal of issue/re-issue of residence permits for immigrants, non-adherence to the procedures of the Disability Certification Centre, pensions, allowances).
  • Protect the labor rights of people living with HIV with extrajudicial and judicial actions (eg: exclusion of people living with HIV from certain professions, HIV testing as a prerequisite for a job application or for entering vocational schools, layoffs/degradation of employees living with HIV and unfavorable consequences against them after the reveal of their seropositivity in their working environment, as well as problematic implementation of law, such as the issue of not be given one extra month of leave from work, which all people living with HIV are entitled to.)
  • Undertake cases of removal of custody from a parent due to his/hers HIV status or deprivation of the right of communication from a parent living with HIV with their child.
  • Perform support interventions of detainees and ex-detainees who live with HIV, through a program of social and legal support of detainees in the “Aghios Pavlos” Hospital (Detainee’s Hospital of Korydallos), the women’s department of Korydallos Detention Centre, the Detention Facilities of Attika’s and Thessaloniki’s Aliens, the Diavata detention centre and the Elaionas Detention Centre.
  • Handle deportation cases of people who live with HIV, to their countries of origin, where there is no sufficient healthcare and medical support.
  • Actively contribute in the creation of collaboration networks with civil society services and carry out interventions to the competent governmental bodies.


  • 104 cases were supported by the Legal Service of the Centre for Life during 2019.


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