Protesters at Latin American AIDS Conference Call on Governments To Improve Access To Health Care, Human Rights
More than 600 protesters outside an HIV/AIDS conference in San Salvador, El Salvador, on Tuesday called on countries in the region to sign an agreement guaranteeing health care and human rights for HIV-positive individuals, the Associated Press reports (Associated Press, 11/8). More than 3,500 people, including presidents, health ministers and disease experts this week, are attending the Third Latin America and the Caribbean Forum of HIV/AIDS/STDs (Foro 2005) and the Fourth Central American Congress on STD/HIV/AIDS (CONCASIDA) this week to discuss a regional strategy against the disease (UNAIDS Web site, 11/9). UNAIDS Director Peter Piot at the meeting said society, migration and poverty have contributed to an increase in the number of HIV-positive women in the region. According to Colombian sexologist Manuel Velend, some HIV/AIDS patients in the region do not have access to treatment, including antiretroviral drugs, which is a violation of patients' human rights (Prensa Latina, 11/9). Domingo Escobar, a Catholic priest who runs a hostel in Panama for HIV-positive and homeless people, protested the region's lack of HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns. "AIDS has no cure," he said, adding," The magic word is prevention." The conferences run through Friday (Associated Press, 11/8).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.