HIV/AIDS to be Discussed at Upcoming U.N. Conference on Racism
At the upcoming U.N. World Conference on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, which begins tomorrow and runs through Sept. 7 in Durban, South Africa, HIV/AIDS will be given attention as a source of discrimination. Sections of the draft declaration to be discussed and adopted at the convention recognize that HIV-positive individuals may "suffer multiple or aggravated discrimination" because of their infection. The draft declaration also notes, "[I]n many countries," people infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS "belong to groups vulnerable to racism," which may "negative[ly] impact and imped[e] their access to health care and medication." The draft program of action asks nations to "promote and protect the human rights" of HIV-positive individuals and to "take ... measures" to combat discrimination against those with HIV/AIDS. The action plan also urges governments and private organizations to "adopt and implement policies and programs" to increase access to HIV/AIDS care and treatment. On Sept. 5, UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot will hold a press conference to release the "UNAIDS Compendium on Discrimination, Stigma and Denial," a set of results of studies on the issues conducted in India and Uganda. On the same day, UNAIDS, the World Health Organization and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights will sponsor a panel discussion, "Exploring the Link: HIV/AIDS, Stigma, Discrimination and Racism," that will address the "relationship between multiple forms of racism and discrimination as determinants of and responses to the HIV/AIDS epidemic (UNAIDS release, 8/29).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.