GENEVA, 6 November 2017—In the lead-up to World AIDS Day on 1 December, UNAIDS has launched this year’s World AIDS Day campaign. The campaign, My Health, My Right, focuses on the right to health and explores the challenges people around the world face in exercising their rights.
“All people, regardless of their age, gender, where they live or who they love, have the right to health,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “No matter what their health needs are, everyone requires health solutions that are available and accessible, free from discrimination and of good quality.”
The right to health is enshrined in the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. This includes the right of everyone to the prevention and treatment of ill health, to make decisions about one’s own health and to be treated with respect and dignity.
The campaign reminds people that the right to health is much more than access to quality health services and medicines, that it also depends on a range of important assurances including, adequate sanitation and housing, healthy working conditions, a clean environment and access to justice.
If a person’s right to health is compromised, they are often unable to effectively prevent disease and ill health, including HIV, or to gain access to treatment and care. The most marginalized people in society, including sex workers, people who inject drugs, men who have sex with men, people in prisons and migrants, are often the least able to access their right to health; they are also the most vulnerable to HIV.
Most of the Sustainable Development Goals are linked in some way to health. To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, including ending the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030, will depend heavily on ensuring the right to health for all.
My Health, My Right encourages people to share their views and concerns around ensuring their own right to health and to create a movement highlighting the importance of erasing health inequalities. Campaign materials include suggested tweets, downloadable posters and postcards and an information brochure that includes key messages about the right to health.
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 unaids.org and connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.