Physician Leaders Support Action Against HIV/AIDS Discrimination

(07.06.2016) Doctors' leaders from the World Medical Association have called on physicians to redouble their efforts to eliminate unfair discrimination against HIV/AIDs patients.

While recognising the huge improvements that have been made in medical practice to end discrimination, the WMA has strongly supported a statement from United Nations Special Rapporteurs emphasising that human rights should be at the core of fast-track efforts to end the AIDS epidemic.

The statement, issued at this week's New York High Level Meeting on Ending AIDS, calls for the removal of punitive laws and practices that block key populations' access to healthcare services and calls for the prevention of violence against key populations.

Dr. Ardis Hoven, Chair of the WMA, said: 'The WMA has a long history of urging for the total elimination of unfair discrimination against HIV/AIDS patients in the practice of medicine. Despite the guidance we have issued to national medical associations and the progress that has been made by dedicated physicians in seeking to end the stigma associated with HIV/AIDs, discrimination and violence continue in many parts of the world.

'It is important that patients with HIV/AIDS are provided with competent and appropriate medical care at all stages of the disease. Physicians have a key role in ending abuses and unethical practices where they occur and we would join with the UN Special Rapporteurs in urging action at global, regional and country levels to tackle this problem.'