Today, March 1st is international Zero discrimination day. GNP+ reiterates our call on countries to create a legal and structural environment that supports people living with, affected by and at risk of HIV to access HIV prevention and treatment interventions. It is the right thing to do. Especially now that data shows Data shows that supportive legal and structural environments reduce marginalization and promotes achievement of national HIV goals and targets.
In order to realize the commitments of the Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS passed by member states in 2021, policymakers must invest efforts to all efforts to address laws, policies, and practices that restrict Key populations and young people’s access to sexual and reproductive health and harm reduction services; laws that criminalise the failure to disclose HIV status; policies and practices that allow for the forcible or coercive sterilisation of women living with HIV and key populations and laws and policies that permit mandatory HIV testing of specific populations such as pregnant women and sex workers
We urge country leadership and policymakers to embrace scientific evidence for both biomedical and social enablers. It is the science that discovered the anti-retroviral treatment 35 years ago, it is the science that found suppressed viral load reduces to zero, new HIV infections and led communities to the Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U) awareness and it is the science that shows laws that criminalise HIV are BAD LAWS.
In case you missed it, please read the op-ed by GNP+ programme managers How possible is “Ending inequalities and ending AIDS by 2030” in harmful legal environments? The irony of commitments.