UNAIDS wants respect for rights of HIV/AIDS victims in Africa

Dakar, Senegal (PANA) - The Director of UNAIDS regional office for West and Central Africa, Ms. Meskerem Grunitzky-Bekele, said here Monday that the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) should be a priority in the fight against all forms of discrimination and stigmatization.

"The creation or strengthening of legal centres and legal aid to vulnerable groups to guarantee the right to justice for all is a major concern," Bekele said at the opening of a regional workshop on AIDS and human rights.

According to her, the effects of stigmatization and discrimination are probably known as a notorious brake to universal access, adding that these barriers are well established in some laws, strengthen the inequality of all citizens before the law and favour vulnerability to infection.

"Achieving universal access and the Millennium Development Goals require taking ownership of, and supporting programmes aimed at preventing and treating innovative methods of funding to ensure their sustainability," she said.

She, however, noted that progress had been made to ensure the effective integration of human rights and gender in programmes against HIV and emphasized that this finding should, in no way, overshadow the delay by some countries in revising their laws on HIV/AIDS.

Among the 24 countries in the region of West and Central Africa, only Senegal and Guinea have finalized the process of revision and adoption of new legislation on HIV/AIDS.

Twelve countries in the sub-region of UNAIDS - Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Nigeria, DRC, Senegal and Togo - will, for two days, identify strategies and actions aimed at promoting human rights and combating HIV.
-0- PANA DOU/JSG/JEN/BOS 23May2011

23 may 2011 13:50:23




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