Mauritius: UNAIDS calls for less discrimination against people living with HIV

Port-Louis, Mauritius (PANA) – UNAIDS adviser in human rights and laws in Africa, Béchir Ndaw, says the restriction imposed to foreigners living with the HIV virus is a discriminatory practice.

In an interview Tuesday with PANA, Ndaw, presently on a visit to the island, said Mauritius, one of the 38 countries where this practice was in force, had its place in the group of great democratic countries.

“The concern is to have more justice and less discrimination towards people living with HIV,” he added.

According to him, the main concern for all countries was the impact that the removal of this practice could have on public funds and health costs.

“I must say that up to now all countries that have removed this restriction have not gone back on their decision ...The HIV prevalence rate has not increased because of this,” he observed.

Ndaw said people living with HIV should not be treated as a social burden.

"Today, they are being treated, they live longer, they do normal activities, they work and pay taxes and are useful to the society,” he stressed.

According to Ndaw, access to treatment was today universal in almost all countries of the world. So, there is no argument in saying that letting HIV infected people enter the island will burden the health budget of the island.

"Treating an HIV patient today costs less than US$80 annually as compared to between US$12,000 to US$ 15,000 some years back, thanks to generic drugs obtained from India and Brazil,” he said.
-0- PANA NA/MA 12Aug2014

12 août 2014 22:11:48

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