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Francoise Barre Sinoussi on countries with anti-gay laws

Speakers and activists at the World Aids Conference in Melbourne have taken aim at countries with anti-gay laws, stating that they help to allow HIV to spread.
Co-chair of the conference, Nobel laureate Francoise Barre-Sinoussi heavily criticised countries which have laws against homosexuality. “The cruel reality is that in every region of the world, stigma and discrimination continue to be the main barriers to effective access to health,” she said, speaking at Sunday’s opening address.

“We need again to shout out loud that we will not stand idly by when governments, in violation of all human rights principles, are enforcing monstrous laws that only marginalise populations that are already the most vulnerable in society.”

She is credited with being one of those who originally discovered HIV.

There are currently 79 countries with laws against homosexuality, with seven having the death penalty for those found guilty.
The some 20,000 Delegates at the conference are urged to sign a Melbourne Declaration, which states that LGBT people “are entitled to equal rights and to equal access to HIV prevention, care and treatment information and services”.

First Published on Pink News, 21 July 2014

AIDS 2014 Melbourne Declaration

This declaration affirms that non-discrimination is fundamental to an evidence-based response to HIV and effective public health programmes.

aids-2014-declaration

“The enforcement of discriminatory and criminalising laws and policies against Key Affected Populations is deeply alarming.” said Professor Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, AIDS 2014 International Chair, President of the International AIDS Society (IAS) and Director of the Regulation of Retroviral Infections Unit at the Institut Pasteur in Paris. “Such practices clearly violate basic human rights and heavily undermine HIV programmes by posing barriers to access to HIV prevention, treatment, and care. With the declaration we want to reiterate that every individual has the same rights and dignity as everyone else as we are born equal and part of the human family. ”

 

 

All individuals and organizations involved in the global response to HIV and AIDS are encouraged to visit and sign the declaration at www.aids2014.org/declaration.aspx and to share it with their networks.

 

“If we really want to change the course of HIV we must make sure that nobody is left behind. AIDS 2014 will be a truly global, inclusive conference and will reflect the principles of the declaration” commented Professor Sharon Lewin, Local Co-Chair of AIDS 2014, Head of the Department of Infectious Diseases, Alfred Hospital and Monash University and Co-Head of the Centre for Biomedical Research at the Burnet Institute in Melbourne.