Global Fund urges governments to quash human rights barriersListen /
In honor of International Human Rights Day, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria made an appeal to break down all human rights barriers to health, a critical factor in the goal of defeating AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
The Global Fund, committed to protecting and promoting human rights, points out that discrimination and criminalization reduce access to health programs, and undermine efforts to control HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.
It says defeating these infectious diseases requires reaching the most vulnerable: women and girls, sex workers, people who use drugs, men who have sex with men, transgender people, people in prison and migrants.
Executive Director of the Global Fund, Mark Dybul, said "Ending stigma, discrimination and gender inequality is about accepting everybody into the human family," adding: "It is also the only way to defeat these diseases."
The Global Fund encourages all governments and societies to recognize and speak openly about key affected populations, gender equality, and human rights.
Those who try to deny or belittle the existence of factors that contribute to the spread of infectious diseases will only make those problems worse, just as those who denied the existence of AIDS 20 years ago actually contributed to the spread, and not the treatment, of HIV.
Donn Bobb, United Nations