UN: UNAIDS urges zero discrimination in healthcare delivery

New York, US (PANA) - The Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) on Wednesday urged everyone to 'make some noise' for zero discrimination in healthcare settings.

"Healthcare settings should be safe and supportive environments. It is unacceptable that discrimination is inhibiting access to care today," said UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe in his message to mark the Zero Discrimination Day.

"Eliminating discrimination in health-care settings is critical, and we must demand that it become a reality," he said.

Sidibe also noted that the right to health is a fundamental human right that includes access to affordable, timely and quality health-care services for all, yet discrimination remains widespread in health-care settings, creating a serious barrier to access to HIV services.

Data from 50 countries from the People Living with HIV Stigma Index showed that one in eight people living with HIV reported being denied health care.

"Around 60 per cent of European Union/European Economic Area countries report that stigma and discrimination among health-care professionals remains a barrier to the provision of adequate HIV prevention services for men who have sex with men and people who inject drugs.

"Each year on 1 March, the world marks Zero Discrimination Day to highlight how everyone can be part of the transformation and take a stand for a fair and just society.

"Everyone has the right to be treated with respect, to live free from discrimination, coercion and abuse. Discrimination doesn't just hurt individuals it hurts everyone, whereas welcoming and embracing diversity in all its forms brings benefits for all," Sidibe stated.

UNAIDS reported that since AIDS emerged 35 years ago, the international community has taken strides in stemming the disease, but must continue with resolve and commitment in eradicating the epidemic by 2030, as set by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
-0-  PANA  AA/AR 1Mar2017

01 march 2017 15:14:16

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