UN Seekd Gender Equality, Gay Rights To End HIV/AIDS Scourge | Independent Newspapers Limited
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UN Seekd Gender Equality, Gay Rights To End HIV/AIDS Scourge

Posted: Jul 3, 2015 at 8:55 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon says the HIV and AIDS epidemic is made worse by punitive laws and stigma that drive vulnerability to infection and block access to life-saving treatment.

In a speech delivered at the launch of the UNAIDS and Lancet Commission Report: “Defeating AIDS – Advancing Global Health’,” in Bridgetown, Barbados, on Friday, Ban said homophobia threatened both human rights and public health.

“We cannot tolerate discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation nor on the basis of gender identity. We must also defend the human rights of sex workers and people who inject drugs,” he said.

“This report has four main messages. First, we have the knowledge, tools and know-how to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030. The Commission spells out how to achieve this.


”Second, we need to urgently increase and fully fund our AIDS response. Today, the world invests $19 billion annually in addressing AIDS.

“Third, we must apply lessons learned from the AIDS response to other complex challenges. Young people, women, gay activists and campaigners for equality drive progress.

“Activism pushes boundaries to ensure access to affordable medicines, political influence and justice. Fourth, we can leave no one behind. AIDS will only end when we protect the human rights of all,” he said.

The UN chief said the disease thrived on unjust power relations and inequalities.

“To end this epidemic, we need gender equality. We need to protect sexual and reproductive rights. And we need to give adolescents life-skills, including education about their sexuality.

“AIDS is about more than human health. It is fundamentally an issue of human rights. For the past 15 years, the world has been inspired by the Millennium Development Goals to act together against AIDS.

“Now, we are forging new sustainable development goals,” he said.