December 1 marked the 22nd Worlds Aids Day. Subcommittee on Human Rights discussed on 30th of November human rights violation against the 33 million people living with HIV around the world and the EU response to the global pandemic.[:]The hearing on Human rights and Aids showed how people with HIV/AIDS face discrimination worldwide and in the EU. Same sex relations are still criminalised in 79 countries and many other countries impose wide HIV-related restrictions on those who carry the condition. In the EU, for example, Slovakia refuses to allow residence permits for migrants with HIV.
Otherwise the discussion concerned much the situation in Sub-Saharan Africa, as 78% of HIV cases occur there.
In discussing the EU response to the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS and ensuring access to treatment, Chairwoman Hautala underlined that it’s time to look at health from the perspective of human rights. The approach to protect and promote human rights of people affected by HIV/AIDS must be a rights based one, she stressed.
Indeed, Henning Mikkelsen, from the UN AIDS Office in Brussels underlined that “only by protecting the rights of those living with AIDS will we protect the rights of all.”