On Zero Discrimination Day, 1 March 2022, WHO is highlighting the right of all people to live healthy, full and productive lives with dignity regardless of their HIV, viral hepatitis or sexually transmitted infections status.
Draft global health sector strategies on HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections for the period 2022-2030 will be considered by the 75 World Health Assembly in May 2022. The draft strategies highlight how the large expansion in services required to achieve 2030 goals and targets will not be achieved unless accompanied by strengthened efforts to address
stigma and discrimination.
It is vital to address stigma and discrimination in healthcare settings, including for men who have sex with men, sex workers, people who use drugs, people in prison and transgender people to end epidemics of HIV, viral hepatitis and STIs.
Equitable, quality and person centred health services require health care staff who are compassionate and non-judgemental experts.
The health sector has a critical role to play through generating data on how stigma and discrimination impacts populations most affected by HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections.
The health sector also plays an important convening role for multisectoral partnerships to address the broader determinants of health.
Zero Discrimination Day started with a focus on HIV to highlight how people can become informed about and promote the rights of people living with and affected by HIV. In recent years it has expanded to focus on ending all forms of discrimination that
impact on quality of life, health and well-being.
“On this year’s Zero Discrimination, let us remember all people living with HIV and health care workers who are working under the most difficult circumstances to deliver the highest quality of care for all,” says Dr Meg Doherty, Director of WHO’s Global HIV, Hepatitis and STI Programmes.
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