Earth Times – Activists and experts at the International AIDS Conference in Vienna said the human rights of people infected with HIV must be a priority if the spread of the virus that causes AIDS is to be stopped.

Human rights are the main theme of the 18th biennial event, which ends Friday. Another focus is the rapid spread of HIV in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Participants in the conference said that rights are an essential part of any attempt to slow and reverse an epidemic that has so far claimed some 25 million lives.

“We have to implement HIV prevention as a human right,” said Anna Shakarishvili, Ukraine coordinator for the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

Rights are important, advocates said, because discrimination against people with HIV, intolerance towards homosexuals and criminalization of intravenous drug use drive underground those in need of treatment or at risk of becoming infected.

“The challenge is to translate a rhetorical theme into real action on the ground,” Joe Amon, director of health and human rights at US- based Human Rights Watch, told the German News Agency dpa.

Read more →

Comments are closed.

Image preload Image preload