One of the Theni District Positive regular social events which provide relaxation, comfort and support, India © Gideon Mendel for the Alliance A peer education leads a life skills session © Nell Freeman for the Alliance

Human Rights

Aids AllianceAids Alliance

    human rights abuses continue to fuel AIDS  

Aids Alliance


All of our programming and advocacy work is based on a human rights based approach, acknowledging that only when we ensure that human rights are being protected, respected and promoted will we achieve optimal public health outcomes.

This approach:

  • ensures that wider political, social and economic realities are considered when addressing HIV in any society
  • helps create an environment that fully addresses stigma and discrimination and which allows people living with and affected by HIV to participate in planning and programming
  • ensures greatest possible access to HIV related services, including prevention programmes.

The Alliance has a long and proud history of working with communities and populations key to the dynamics of HIV transmission.  In particular, we acknowledge that any response to HIV at national, regional and international level can only be successful if it includes all sections of society and importantly addresses marginalised populations such as men who have sex with men, people who use drugs and sex workers.


Despite the fact that the relationship between HIV and human rights has been understood, human rights abuses continue to fuel AIDS and human rights violations continue to exacerbate the impact of the disease.

While governments all over the world have committed to creating an enabling legal environment to strengthen their HIV responses, many countries have not translated this commitment into national policies and laws.

People living with HIV continue to experience discrimination at the work place, breaches of confidentiality in health care facilities and are often restricted in their travel due to discriminatory immigration policies.

The destruction wrought by HIV/AIDS is fuelled by a wide range of human rights violations, including sexual violence and coercion faced by women and girls, stigmatisation of men who have sex with men, abuses against sex workers and people who use drugs, and violations of the rights of young people to information on HIV transmission.

Human rights violations add to the stigmatisation of people at highest risk of infection and thus marginalise and drive underground those who need information, prevention services and treatment most desperately.

It is only when human rights are placed at the core of national HIV programmes that positive public health outcomes can be achieved, such as a greater number of people testing for HIV, more people coming forward for HIV treatment and care services and generally people discussing HIV more openly in their communities.

Without reducing the vulnerability of marginalised populations and addressing human rights violations against people living with HIV, universal access will not be realised.


The Alliance approach to human rights includes:

  • Advocating for the use of a human rights based approach in all interventions and programmes at national and global level, including documenting best practices in the area of human rights and HIV.
  • Engaging partners in civil society, in national governments and at international level in creating policies and laws that protect the rights of those living with HIV and those most vulnerable to HIV infection.
  • Speaking about and championing the rights of marginalised populations, including their right to be engaged and consulted in the response to the epidemic.
  • Documenting the interventions of Alliance linking organisations to address human rights violations against marginalised populations.
  • Adopting the GIPA (Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV/AIDS) principle as fundamental to an effective and human rights-based response to HIV/AIDS.
  • Ensuring the involvement of communities who are key to achieving universal access in services and programming that affect their lives, as well as in broader policy and advocacy.


  • UNAIDS Reference Group on HIV and Human Rights
  • International Harm Reduction Association
  • UNDP Human Rights Programme