Prioritizing people’s right to health and development post-2015

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Prioritizing people’s right to health and development post-2015

12 December 2013

AIDS and other health conditions go beyond the bio-medical field and should be addressed from a human rights perspective. This was the main message which emerged from the Latin America regional dialogue held on 4 December in Panama City. The event was part of the series of consultations organized by the UNAIDS and Lancet Commission: Defeating AIDS - Advancing global health to gather perspectives on AIDS in the post-2015 agenda.

The dialogue centered around the outcomes of three earlier online consultations which gathered inputs from representatives of civil society organizations, academia, national HIV programmes, international cooperation agencies, key populations and people living with HIV.


Alessandra Nilo, Director of GESTOS and a member of the UNAIDS and The Lancet Commission Working Group 3; Carlos Garcia, El Salvador Ambassador to the UN; Marcela Suazo, UNFPA Regional Director; Pedro Cahn, scientist and Director of Huesped Foundation; César A. Núñez, UNAIDS Regional Director; Ruben Mayorga, UNAIDS Senior Governance Advisor; as well as other regional experts and leaders in the HIV response.

Key messages

  • Scale-up of HIV prevention and treatment services will not be possible until people’s right to health and development are prioritized.
  • Strengthening a new generation of skilled activists is key for the future of the global AIDS response and global health architecture.
  • Stakeholders should avoid complacency as there are still many legal, cultural, gender and institutional barriers that hinder access to HIV prevention and treatment services especially for most-at-risk populations.
  • The leadership of national structures, regional initiatives and PAHO is essential to develop joint regional strategies to reduce prices of HIV treatment and other commodities.
  • The focus of the new global health architecture should be to promote health and well-being on the basis of a human rights platform.
  • Countries were called on to make an extra effort to achieve financial sustainability to respond to AIDS and other health conditions.


"It is not about providing only HIV related services, but rather services for a wide range of diseases. Integration begins by having trained human resources that can care to more than HIV and co-infections"

Pedro Cahn, Director of Fundacion Huesped

"In this context of the post-2015 agenda, it is imperative to focus the discussion on human rights and not on trade"

Alessandra Nilo, President and Founder of the civil society organization GESTOS from Brazil

"The right to health is closely related to the right to development. This combination is the path for the development of public policies that will lead to an effective AIDS response"

Carlos Garcia, Ambassador of El Salvador to the UN

"Young people have to be involved in decision-making because they are the ones who can best identify strategies to respond to their real needs"

Marcela Suazo, UNFPA Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean

"It is essential to address the human rights challenges and the structural determinants that increase vulnerability to HIV. Political commitment, renewed leadership and shared responsibility from a multisectorial perspective through synergies with different development sectors are our North in the post-2015 agenda"

César Núñez, UNAIDS Director in Latin America