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International Human Rights Day 2019

Action against AIDS publishes videos on HIV and human rights

Foto auf der Reichstagskuppel - P. Wiessner

It was Jonathan Mann, the head of the first WHO AIDS programme, who put human rights at the heart of global HIV response in 1987. The stigmatisation, discrimination and criminalisation of people living with HIV must be countered by the protection and upholding of human rights in order to overcome the AIDS epidemic. The human rights based approach was born out of this conviction.

"This approach was revolutionary at the time. However, it was never uncontroversial and even today, seen globally, it is still a rather utopian postulate than reality," says Klaus Koch, spokesperson for Action against AIDS.

"Our video interviews with HIV-positive people from Ukraine, Kenya and the Philippines show how many people are still excluded from accessing the health care systems today and how catastrophic the violation of basic human rights are. We very much appreciate that the work of the Global Fund (GFATM) and UNAIDS are based on the principles of human rights," Koch adds. 

"Recent political developments, state isolationism, decreased social solidarity and right-wing populism are increasingly challenging human rights based programmes. The interviews show very strikingly that this has very direct consequences for people living with HIV, tuberculosis and malaria on a global level. The existence and necessity of those human rights based programmes were previously perceived as a no brainer, but in the current global affairs requires defending," says Sylvia Urban, spokeswoman for Action against AIDS.

The interviews show just how relevant the safe guarding of human rights are in HIV-related work:

 We would like to thank our interview partners for their willingness to provide a very personally insight on their lives and the Global Fund Advocates Network (GFAN) for their proven support!

The interviews can be downloaded free of charge:

Aktionsbündnis gegen AIDS, 2023