Geneva: UNAIDS, International HIV/AIDS Alliance, 2012. 20 p.
International HIV/AIDS Alliance
Human rights are legal guarantees: they apply to everyone. However, these may be perceived by stakeholders in the national HIV response as separate from HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. And yet without a human rights-based approach to HIV, it is unlikely that an HIV response will be effective. Social and legal environments characterised by stigma and discrimination and the criminalisation of people living with HIV and key populations (people at higher risk of HIV, such as men who have sex with men, sex workers and people who inject drugs) undermine effective HIV programmes by preventing people from coming forward for testing, prevention, treatment, care and support. This means that in practice, investments in HIV may not be reaching those most in need. A human rights-based approach to HIV addresses the needs of all those affected and ensures the meaningful participation of all sections of society, including the most vulnerable and marginalised in the HIV response. Such an approach includes specific programmes to reduce HIV-related stigma and discrimination and increases access to justice in the context of HIV. To strengthen the rights-based national response to HIV, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), with the technical support of the International HIV/AIDS Alliance (the Alliance), initiated a project in 2011 to help national stakeholders (national AIDS programme managers, officials from ministries of health, gender and justice, civil society representatives, members of affected communities and UN staff) integrate human rights programmes into National Strategic Plans (NSPs). This brief report outlines some short-term outcomes and lessons learnt from this initiative.
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