ILGA-Europe statement on the occasion of the European HIV Testing Week and the World AIDS Day
1 December is the World AIDS Day. This year, ILGA-Europe together with over 400 other governmental agencies and non-governmental organisations across Europe, expressed its support to the European HIV Testing Week which takes place in advance of the World AIDS Day (22-29 November 2013).
ILGA-Europe supports this initiative that encourages people, across Europe, to get tested and know their HIV status. People need to know they are HIV positive to start a treatment, obtain support and social protection, and thus have a greater life expectancy and a better quality of life.
Far too many people are still afraid to get tested because of fear of prejudice, stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV and AIDS. People with HIV positive status may be turned away from health care services, denied housing and employment, shunned by their friends and colleagues, turned down for insurance coverage or refused entry into foreign countries. In some cases, they may be evicted from home by their families, left by their partners, and suffer physical violence. LGBTI people who are HIV positive often face a 'double stigma', including within their own communities.
ILGA-Europe reiterates its calls on the European institutions and national authorities to continue tackling discrimination and stigma – one of the major barriers in effective HIV prevention and live quality improving work.
ILGA-Europe also calls on the EU to propose and adopt a strategy against HIV that highlights the need to tackle discrimination in health on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.
26 November 2013