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Spotlight Series: HIV Stigma and Discrimination
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International News

UN Urges Governments to Include Refugees in HIV Policies

March 2, 2007

Governments should include refugees in their national HIV programs and provide them with the same access to treatment as their own citizens, UNAIDS and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said Thursday. "Far too often refugees face an untenable situation: they are no longer guaranteed the protection of their country of origin and do not receive assistance from host countries," said their four-page policy brief. In countries struggling with high HIV/AIDS rates, "refugees often do not have access to HIV-prevention commodities and programs. Access to HIV-related care and support is also rarely given adequate attention."

The UN agencies called on civil society to help address the common misperception that HIV prevalence is higher among refugees than among other citizens in host countries. "Stigma and discrimination need to be tackled as an integral part of responding effectively to HIV among refugees and host communities," the statement urged.

Specifically, UNHCR and UNAIDS said governments should:


  • Incorporate refugees in HIV policies and strategic plans and ensure appropriate access to comprehensive HIV prevention, treatment, support and care.
  • Include refugees in the evaluation and monitoring of national HIV programs.
  • Guarantee that laws, policies, and programs respect and protect the rights of refugees and include anti-discrimination language.

Back to other news for March 2, 2007

Adapted from:
Xinhua News Agency

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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