Press statement

UNAIDS welcomes the United States of America’s decision to support women’s health, safety and rights

GENEVA, 3 February 2021—UNAIDS warmly welcomes the announcement by the President of the United States of America, Joe Biden, that he has rescinded the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Policy (PLGHA, previously known as the Mexico City Policy). The policy required foreign nongovernmental organizations to certify that they would not perform or actively promote abortion using funds from any source (including non-United States funds) as a condition of receiving United States Government funding.

“Rescinding the PLGHA is a strong demonstration of the new United States Administration’s commitment to supporting women to claim their rights and to access sexual and reproductive health and rights information and services,” said Winnie Byanyima, UNAIDS Executive Director. “We look forward to working closely with the new United States Administration to ensure that all women and girls can exercise their human rights and get the sexual and reproductive health information and services they want and need.”

The former United States Administration took previous restrictions established by the Mexico City Policy to a new level by applying the policy to global health assistance provided by all executive departments and agencies. This severely limited access to critical sexual and reproductive health-care services and stifled local advocacy efforts, in turn undermining human rights in general and sexual and reproductive health and rights in particular worldwide.

UNAIDS welcomes the White House’s call to waive conditions related to the PLGHA in any current grants with immediate effect, to notify current grantees, as soon as possible, that these conditions have been waived and to cease imposing these conditions in any future assistance awards.

“Women and girls having full access to their sexual and reproductive health and rights is closely connected to their overall safety, health and well-being. We hope that this will inform the passage of the Global Health, Empowerment and Rights Act—legislation designed to permanently repeal the PLGHA,” added Ms Byanyima.

UNAIDS also warmly welcomes the announcement by the President that the United States will restore funding to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), a key UNAIDS cosponsoring organization working around the world to provide reproductive health care for women and young people. UNAIDS appreciates the commitment by the United States Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, to appropriate US$ 32.5 million in support for UNFPA this year.


The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national partners towards ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. Learn more at and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.