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2009 World AIDS Day- Universal Access and Human Rights

Today, 1st December 2009 marks World AIDS day. Browsing through the 2009 AIDS Epidemic Update , one can see that despite significant efforts towards combating the epidemic, the global HIV/AIDS statics are alarming.

According to the report, an estimated:

  • 33.4 million people are living with HIV worldwide               
  • 2.7 million people were newly infected in 2008
  • 2 million people died of AIDS related illness in 2008

This year’s World AIDS Day theme is “Universal Access and Human Rights”. The challenge therefore for governments and donors, is to translate into real action and results, the knowledge of the interplay of HIV/AIDS and human rights. Notably:

  • The right to share in scientific advancement and its benefits;
  • The right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health;
  • The right to non-discrimination, equal protection and equality before the law;
  • The right to life;
  • The right to privacy;
  • The right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;
  • The right to work;
  • The right to freedom of movement;
  • The right to seek and enjoy asylum;
  • The right to an adequate standard of living;
  • The right to social security, assistance and welfare;
  • The right to equal access to education;
  • The right to participate in public and cultural life;
  • The right to freedom of association;
  • The right to marry and to found a family;
  • The right to freedom of opinion and expression and the right to freely receive and impart information.