Feature story

Costa Rica joins Global Partnership for Action to Eliminate all Forms of HIV-Related Stigma and Discrimination

07 June 2021

Costa Rica has joined the Global Partnership for Action to Eliminate all Forms of HIV-Related Stigma and Discrimination. At a United Nations High-Level Meeting on AIDS side event on 7 June, the Vice President of Costa Rica, Epsy Campbell Barr, emphasized the country’s commitment to human rights by highlighting that a comprehensive and effective HIV response needs to include the human rights of people living with HIV.

Costa Rica is the third signatory to the global partnership in the Latin America and Caribbean region, joining Jamaica and Argentina.

The side event, Latin America and the Caribbean on the Road to Eliminating HIV-Related Stigma and Discrimination, was co-organized by the regional coordinator of the global partnership, RedTraSex (the Sex Workers Network for Latin America and the Caribbean), the Global Network of People Living with HIV and the Governments of Jamaica and Costa Rica, with the support of UNAIDS.

Five year ago, the 2016 United Nations Political Declaration on Ending AIDS recognized the HIV epidemic as a human rights challenge. Member States expressed concern about HIV-related stigma and discrimination around the world and about the regulatory and legal frameworks that discourage and prevent people from accessing HIV-related services.

The Global Partnership for Action to Eliminate all Forms of HIV-Related Stigma and Discrimination was created in 2017. The initiative has the goal of catalysing and accelerating the implementation of commitments made to end HIV-related stigma and discrimination by United Nations Member States, United Nations agencies, bilateral and international donors, nongovernmental organizations and communities.

Countries have made commitments on ending discrimination in various international conventions, and have made further promises at the regional and national levels. The global partnership supports countries in transforming those promises into reality through policies, programmes and practices that strengthen health and HIV-related rights.

Through the regional coordination of RedTraSex, the global partnership supports an open and ongoing dialogue in the regional civil society networks with the goal of strengthening national coordination platforms and representation, with a focus on people living with, at risk of or affected by HIV.


“We understand that eliminating stigma and discrimination is a fundamental part for us to make society aware of the impacts of HIV and to have a permanent drive that allows us prevention and equal access to all services. Eliminating stigma and discrimination means guaranteeing the rights of all people.”

Epsy Campbell Barr Vice President, Costa Rica

“Today I am deeply moved because 30 years ago I started my activism and I never thought I would be in a panel with such women—because that also makes me deeply proud as a feminist—starting this great revolution together. We need to be considered as a subject of law and not only as an object of research.”

Eelena Reynaga Executive Secretary, RedTraSex Latin America and the Caribbean

“The new global AIDS strategy provides guidance on the focus we must have: ending inequalities. And to do that, we need to identify the drivers of those inequalities, and stigma and discrimination are among them.”

Alejandra Corao Director, a.i., UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Latin America and the Caribbean