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Public Health (28-05-2013)

High level meeting on HIV and Human Rights, 27-28 May, Brussels

A high-level meeting, to promote and protect human rights and move towards zero discrimination for people living with or affected by HIV in the EU and neighbouring countries opened yesterday and continues today.

Commissioner Tonio Borg joined UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director in welcoming the participants who include Members of the European Parliament, national politicians, health NGOs and representatives of people living with HIV/AIDS.

Specific objectives of the two-day meeting are to:

  • Reaffirm European commitments to promote and protect human rights in the context of HIV, by ensuring the right to health, strengthening rights-based approaches to HIV and creating supportive legal environments
  • Identify progress, as well as gaps and challenges and to highlight evidence and best practices
  • Determine the next steps for the EU, Member States, neighbouring countries and civil society in promoting and protecting human rights in the context of HIV across the region.

Background

The importance of protecting and promoting human rights for an effective HIV response is broadly recognised and has been reaffirmed in a series of recent strong commitments at European and international level.

Today's meeting, co-organised by the European Commission and UNAIDS, takes place in the context of the 2011 UN General Assembly High Level meeting on AIDS in New York. At this event, world leaders reaffirmed their commitment to address stigma and discrimination of people living with or affected by HIV as essential elements in the global response to AIDS.