Press statement

UNAIDS saddened by death of AIDS activist Dr Robert Carr

GENEVA, 11 May 2011—UNAIDS is deeply saddened by the death of Dr Robert Carr, a passionate human rights defender of people living with HIV and marginalized communities, particularly men who have sex with men (MSM), sex workers and people who use drugs.

Dr Carr was a founding member of the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition, one of the first Caribbean organizations to focus on issues related to the rights and needs of sexual minorities. He also served as Executive Director of the civil society group Jamaica AIDS Support. At the time of his death, he was Director of Policy and Advocacy with the International Council of AIDS Service Organizations (ICASO) in Toronto, Canada.

“The AIDS movement has lost a tireless advocate for social justice and human rights,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “Robert championed the HIV response in the Caribbean, and globally. He was a continuing inspiration to us all. My thoughts are with his family and friends.”

Dr Carr was acutely aware of the historic discrimination and exclusion faced by sexual minorities, the poor and other marginalized communities in the Caribbean. He dedicated his life to bringing about the change he believed was so urgently needed in his region, and beyond. When asked what he was fighting for at the International AIDS Conference in 2010, he replied, simply, “justice.”

A social worker and academic, Dr Carr taught at the University of the West Indies and wrote extensively on human rights and HIV, as well as on the social context that drives stigma and discrimination. He was a member of the UNAIDS Reference Group on HIV and Human Rights, the Global Forum on MSM & HIV and a number of other HIV and human rights groups in the Caribbean.

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