8 December 2017

Angola: UN Supports Angola to Fight Discrimination Against HIV-Positive People

Luanda — The United Nations (UN) is committed to supporting Angola in coordinated multisectoral action to eliminate discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS.

This statement was made by the the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Angola, Paolo Balladelli, when speaking on Thursday in Luanda at the 1st think-tank on human rights stigma and discrimination, an initiative of the European Union (EU), UNAIDS and Angolan Network of Non-Governmental Organisations for Fight Against HIV/AIDS (ANASO).

He acknowledged that discrimination in the field of HIV/AIDS is an obstacle to achieving sustainable development goals.

In this regard, the UN has supported Angola in accelerating the priorities of the 2016 policy statement on HIV and human rights, by reducing new infections in adolescents, reducing stigma and discrimination, mitigating the impact among key populations and improving communication and the coordination of a multisectoral response.

Paolo Balladelli noted that some forms of stigma and discrimination have to do with self-stigma or internalized stigma, where fear of discrimination destroys the will to seek medical care and treatment, a sense of shame and silence.

He stated that silence is evidence of this type of stigma and limits access to services and testing or treatment of quality of life.

According to him, the government stigma also exists when a country has laws, rules and policies that reinforce stigma over HIV/AIDS.

Criminalization of people living with HIV/AIDS in more than 100 countries is responsible for increasing the number of people who are infected or without access to treatment, often using drugs and sex work.

The workshop, which addresses, among other topics, the context of Angola on stigma and discrimination in human rights, aimed at raising awareness about stigma and discrimination in the human rights perspective on issues related to equity, gender, social justice, empowerment of individuals and minors groups.

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