Feature story

Countries take practical steps forward towards eliminating discrimination

09 February 2024

Countries from across the world who have taken practical steps forward towards eliminating discrimination are showing what is possible, UNAIDS has said.

The countries are members of the Global Partnership for Action to Eliminate all Forms of HIV-Related Stigma and Discrimination, which have prioritized and pledged to accelerate the removal of stigmatizing and discriminatory practices, policies and laws across six settings: community, health, justice, education, workplace, and emergency/humanitarian. Recent progress that was made by members of the Global Partnership included:

  • In the Central African Republic, the law on the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS was revised with a focus on social protection, opening new opportunities for people living with HIV to access enhanced support.
  • In Argentina, the National Law for Comprehensive Response to HIV, STIs and Tuberculosis committed that care and treatment be provided without discrimination. 
  • In Kazakhstan, the government increased domestic funding to sustain a successful community-led programme for shelter and support for women living with HIV who had been subjected to violence.
  • In Ghana, a strong partnership between the government and the community enabled mothers living with HIV and caregivers of HIV-exposed infants and children to  benefit from targeted interventions that foster their and their children’s well-being, leading to improved adherence to treatment and linkage to care.
  • In Thailand, a national Code of Conduct on HIV prevention and management in the workplace was adopted, and both government and the private sector committed to review HIV policies in line with the new Code of Conduct.
  • In Iran, the Ministry of Health issued a bylaw to tackle the stigma and discrimination faced by people living with and affected by HIV. As a result, a protocol on elimination of stigma and discrimination in health care settings was developed to advance access to HIV services without discrimination, including strengthening the referral system.

“The practical steps forward which have been taken by members of the Global Partnership provide hope through action,” said UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima. “They show what is possible. They show how it is through protecting the rights of every person that we can protect the health of every person. Progress on rights can power progress towards the end of AIDS.”

38 countries have joined the Global Partnership for Action to Eliminate all Forms of HIV-Related Stigma and Discrimination, and more have expressed interest in joining.  More information on the Global Partnership can be found here: https://www.unaids.org/en/topic/global-partnership-discrimination

On March 1st the world will mark the tenth anniversary of Zero Discrimination Day. More information on Zero Discrimination Day can be found here: https://www.unaids.org/en/2024-zero-discrimination-day