At the United Nations High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS in 2006, world leaders reaffirmed that “the full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all is an essential element in the global response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic.”
Yet, more than three decades into the AIDS epidemic, the “essential element” remains the missing piece in the fight against AIDS.
Our campaign affirms that, now more than ever, human rights should occupy the center of the global struggle against HIV and AIDS.
Here are the 10 reasons why:
- Universal access will never be achieved without human rights.
- Gender inequality makes women more vulnerable to HIV, with women and girls now having the highest rates of infection in heavily affected countries.
- The rights and needs of children and young people are largely ignored in the response to HIV, even though they are the hardest hit in many places.
- The worst affected receive the least attention in national responses to HIV.
- Effective HIV-prevention, treatment, and care programs are under attack.
- AIDS activists risk their safety by demanding that governments provide greater access to HIV and AIDS services.
- The protection of human rights is the way to protect the public’s health.
- AIDS poses unique challenges and requires an exceptional response.
- “Rights-based” responses to HIV are practical, and they work.
- Despite much rhetoric, real action on HIV/AIDS and human rights remains lacking.