On Zero Discrimination Day this year, governments, civil society organizations and communities highlighted the urgent need for action to end the inequalities that continue to persist around the world.
Among them were several countries and partners of the Global Partnership for Action to Eliminate All Forms of HIV-Related Stigma and Discrimination (Global Partnership) who commemorated the day by hosting webinars, launching initiatives to accelerate the implementing commitments to end HIV-related stigma. and discrimination or raising awareness of the urgent need to achieve dignity for all.
At the global level, the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+) has launched #More … than, a global online campaign to celebrate and showcase the diversity of lives, achievements, interests and dreams of people living with and affected by HIV. And UNAIDS, the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria hosted a webinar to showcase the potential of evidence-based programs. evidence and community responses to end HIV-related stigma and discrimination. . The event used best practices from countries as diverse as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Jamaica and Ukraine.
At national and regional levels, Zero Discrimination Day was marked by a number of initiatives. For example, in West and Central Africa, Senegalese artist Coumba Gawlo launched a single to raise awareness and promote HIV response action in the region, with fellow artists Wally Seck (Senegal), Djelly Mady Kouyate (Gambia) and Nestor Lendjy (Guinea Bissau).
In Senegal, the Network of People Living with HIV (RNP+) organized a dialogue to raise awareness of the impact of HIV-related stigma on women and girls. The dialogue brought together people living with HIV and representatives of women’s movements, key populations, human rights defenders, policy makers and health service providers. The results of the dialogue will be used to inform the advocacy strategy that RNP+ will develop on human rights and gender issues in order to better meet the expectations of its members and communities affected by HIV.
Evidence shows that in Senegal, women living with HIV face barriers to accessing reproductive health services, sex workers face high levels of stigma in health care settings, and economic vulnerability of women living with HIV is not sufficiently taken into account in programs to combat HIV. “Discrimination continues to affect women and girls and that is why they are often excluded from the labor market, isolated in their communities or stigmatized in health centres. Key populations are also historically the target of discrimination in Senegal,” said Soukèye Ndiaye, President of RNP+.
In Côte d’Ivoire, UNAIDS, in collaboration with the National Program for the Fight against AIDS, the Alliance Côte d’Ivoire, Enda Santé Côte d’Ivoire and the Ivorian League for Human Rights, presented the Global Partnership and its representatives from the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Justice, as well as civil society partners. The meeting resulted in a report that will inform Côte d’Ivoire’s strategy to eliminate stigma and discrimination.
In the Central African Republic, which was the first country to join the Global Partnership, the Minister of Health and Population, Pierre Somse, above, issued a statement recalling the government’s commitment to non-discrimination and equality. “Only by tackling inequalities can we achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, including those related to well-being and health for all,” Mr. Somse said.
Other events in the Central African Republic included a civil society consultation to identify priorities for eliminating stigma and discrimination and a panel discussion on a radio show to highlight that stigma and discrimination are a barrier to prevention, HIV treatment, care and support. support services. Training dedicated to the National Charter for the Quality of Care and Patients’ Rights was provided to medical staff in two major health centers in Bangui. In the Central African Republic, more than 80% of people living with HIV in the country said they had experienced discrimination or stigma.
In the Islamic Republic of Iran, the country’s new anti-discrimination regulations were shared on social media to mark Zero Discrimination Day. In Thailand, UNAIDS, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Public Health co-sponsored a Global Partnership roundtable to show the power of governments, civil society and the United Nations in fighting stigma and HIV-related discrimination in Asia and the Pacific. And in the Republic of Moldova, an updated roadmap has been developed to overcome remaining barriers related to stigma and discrimination, gender mainstreaming and equality, taking into account the commitments made in the framework of the National AIDS Control Program and the Global Partnership.
Finally, on the eve of Zero Discrimination Day, Kazakhstan officially joined the Global Partnership. For Baurzhan Baiserkin, director of the Kazakh Scientific Center for Dermatology and Infectious Diseases of the Ministry of Health of Kazakhstan, the initiative will make a positive difference for people living with HIV, prisoners, migrants and other key populations.
“Kazakhstan supports the Global Partnership’s initiative to eliminate all forms of HIV-related stigma and discrimination. I am convinced that this will contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals,” Mr. Baiserkin said.
The Global Partnership for Action to Eliminate All Forms of HIV-Related Stigma and Discrimination is an initiative that aims to catalyze and accelerate the implementation of commitments made to end HIV-related stigma and discrimination. HIV-related discrimination by UN Member States, UN agencies, international donors, non-governmental organizations and communities.