The risk of HIV infection and its impact feeds on violations of human rights, including discrimination against women and marginalized groups such as sex workers, people who inject drugs and men who have sex with men. HIV also frequently begets human rights violations such as further discrimination and violence. Over the past decade the critical need for strengthening human rights to effectively respond to the epidemic and deal with its effects has become evermore clear. Protecting human rights and promoting public health are mutually reinforcing.
Several countries still have policies that interfere with the accessibility and effectiveness of HIV-related measures for prevention and care. Examples include laws criminalizing consensual sex between men, prohibiting condom and needle access for prisoners, and using residency status to restrict access to prevention and treatment services. At the same time, laws and regulations protecting people with HIV from discrimination are not enacted, or fully implemented or enforced.
Reforming laws and policies that are based in deeply-rooted social attitudes and norms such as gender inequality requires multisectoral collaboration. Although not sufficient to change social attitudes, legislation is important for addressing acts of discrimination. Civil society, including organizations of people living with HIV, as well as other parts of society, including police and justice systems, have a critical role to play. International organizations and donors can also play a positive role in support of local and national actors.
The protection of human rights, both of those vulnerable to infection and those already infected, is not only right, but also produces positive public health results against HIV. In particular, it has also become increasingly clear that:
- National and local responses will not work without the full engagement and participation of those affected by HIV, particularly people living with HIV.
- The human rights of women, young people and children must be protected if they are to avoid infection and withstand the impact of HIV.
- The human rights of marginalized groups (sex workers, people who use drugs, men who have sex with men, prisoners) must also be respected and fulfilled for the response to HIV to be effective.
- Supportive frameworks of policy and law are essential to effective HIV response
The latest from the GCWA
16 Jun, 2015|
For a complete downloadable version of this flyer, please click here.
2 Jun, 2014|
June 2 marks the anniversary of the 1975 occupation of Église Saint-Nizier in Lyon by more than a hundred sex workers. Today, June 2 is recognized as the International Day for Sex Workers, in support of the continued fight to ensure that sex workers’ lives, bodies, and work is respected. The Global Coalition on Women and AIDS (GCWA) and its membership stand in solidarity with sex workers in their continued demand for the recognition of fundamental labour, social and economic and human rights. In the context of HIV, the rights and empowerment of sex workers are integral to the response.
2 Jun, 2014|
June 2 marks the anniversary of the 1975 occupation of Église Saint-Nizier in Lyon by more than a hundred sex workers.
26 May, 2014|
On 19 May 2014, a 64 year-old nurse, Rosemary Namubiru, was convicted of criminal negligence and sentenced to three years in prison. She was initially accused of attempted murder. Nurse Namiburu, who pleaded not guilty, was accused of giving a distraught two-year-old boy an injection after having accidentally pricked her finger, though the facts had not been established robustly. The Ugandan healthcare system handled the case appropriately, by immediately treating the boy with post-exposure prophylaxis. So far, no sero-conversion could be established.
9 May, 2014|
The Global Coalition on Women and AIDS (GCWA) and its membership wish to speak out against the recent kidnappings in Nigeria of over 300 girls, 12 to 17years of age, on the night of 14th April, and further condemn the abduction of eight more young women the night of 5 May, 2014. The majority of the victims are believed to have been abducted from their boarding school.
24 Sep, 2013|
Helena Nangombe of Namibia Women's Health Network (Namibia) and GCWA advisory group member representing the UNAIDS Secretariats’ dialogue platform on the rights of women living with HIV advocates for getting to zero in the workplace. To see Helena's poster click here: Helena-Nangombe-presentation.pdf To see posters from political leaders and activists from around the world click here
24 Sep, 2013|
5 Sep, 2013|
Text of Speech at the Inaugural Meeting of the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, “Building the Future We Want: from Rio+20 to the Post 2015 Development Agenda” United Nations Trusteeship Council Chamber Gita Sen (on behalf of the Women’s Major Group) President Ashe, President Osorio, Mr Secretary General, Madam President, Mr Prime Minister, Your Excellencies, Colleagues and Friends from the Major Groups and Civil Society, Ladies and Gentlemen, I stand before you to speak on behalf of the Major Groups - and particularly the Women’s Major Group – groups that were s
27 Aug, 2013|
click here to access the document: GCWA post-2015 global development priorities.pdf
27 Aug, 2013|