Across communities and borders, stigma and discrimination continues to be the number one issue identified by people living with HIV as a problem. Stigma remains a major barrier to accessing treatment, prevention, care and support, to adhering to treatment and to living a high quality life. Discrimination places people living with HIV and key populations, including women, in danger in their day-to-day lives by destroying families and communities, causing legal and economic hardship and violating basic human rights.
That’s why GNP+ and the NGO delegation to the UNAIDS PCB have teamed up together to serve as civil society co-convenors of the Global Partnership for Action to Eliminate All Forms of HIV-related Stigma and Discrimination. The Global Partnership is a mechanism that we are using to push for accelerated implementation of commitments established in the 2016 Political Declaration to end HIV-related stigma and discrimination. “It is time for Member States, UN agencies, bilateral and international donors, NGOs and communities to work together and strengthen their efforts and investments to ending AIDS as part of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030”, said Jules Kim, NGO delegate for the UNAIDS PCB.
Last week, the GNP+, and the NGO delegation of the UNAIDS PCB met with the other Global Partnership co-convenors, UNAIDS, UNDP and UN Women in New York City for a two-day strategy and work planning meeting. Just prior to the meeting, six civil society organizations were chosen, through an open call process, to co-lead, with an UN entity, the work within each of the thematic settings. To this end, the healthcare setting working group will be co-led by Asia Catalyst with the WHO; the workplace settings working group will be co-led by the Asociación de Mujeres Meretrices de Argentina (AMMAR) along with the ILO; the educational settings working group will be co- led by ATHENA Network with UNESCO . The justice settings working group will be co-led by UNDP with ANP+ , household settings will be co-led ICW-EA in collaboration with UN women and finally the humanitarian and emergencies working group will be co-led by ICASO with WFP .
The Thematic Working groups will lead on and coordinate technical support and strategic stigma and discrimination related guidance for countries to facilitate innovative interventions, collaborative work, and information sharing. The working groups will also be exploring accountability and responsibility mechanisms so that countries will be able to move the needle and effectively address HIV related stigma and discrimination, even incrementally.
“1 March 2019 – Zero Discrimination day reminds us all that the fighting against HIV-related stigma and discrimination is far from over, says Rico Gustav, GNP+ Executive Director. “GNP+ is pleased to be a co-convenor, together with the NGO Delegation to the PCB and UN co-convenors, of the Global Partnership as it seeks to transform our communities best strategies, tactics and mechanisms for addressing and measuring HIV-related stigma and discrimination into actionable and accountable global targets and goals for Member States.”