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Right to health for persons living with HIV/AIDS

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On the occasion of World AIDS Day, 1 December, the Palestinian National AIDS Committee, chaired by the Ministry of Health, organized an awareness-raising event in Jenin. The event was attended by several hundred participants, including invited partners from other ministries, nongovernmental organizations and universities. Speakers emphasized the importance of testing and counselling to increase access to HIV treatment and care. 

The chairman of the Palestinian National AIDS Committee, Dr Asad Ramlawi, Director General of Public Health and Primary Health Care, highlighted the importance of data-based research as scientific evidence, which is crucial for the ability to work efficiently with HIV/AIDS as a multi-syndrome condition and to ensure that correct interventions are made.

Dr Randa Abu Rabie, HIV/AIDS programme manager at WHO occupied Palestinian territory and one of the invited speakers, emphasized a human rights approach to AIDS care: “Testing has to be made available to those most at risk. We call on civil society to play an active role in this intervention and in supporting the right to health for people living with HIV.” Dr Abu Rabie pointed out,  “All people have the same rights. Persons living with HIV have the right to treatment, to education and work.”

The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has supported WHO’s work on HIV/AIDS in the West Bank and Gaza Strip since 2008. A proposal for a new phase of funding by the Global Fund has just been approved.