The world is celebrating Zero Discrimination Day. March 1, every year is recognised by the United Nations (UN) as a day set aside to highlight the right of people living with HIV, viral hepatitis or sexually transmitted diseases. The day is also used to highlight the right of individuals to live full, healthy lives regardless of their health status.
The commemoration for this year is themed “Remove laws that harm, create laws that empower”.
To consolidate this year’s commemoration, a draft concerning global health sector strategies on HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections for the period 2022-2030 will be considered by the 75 World Health Assembly in May 2022.
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The draft strategies are to highlight how large the expansion in services is required to achieve 2030 goals and targets unless accompanied by strengthened efforts to address stigma and discrimination with the health sector having a major role to play, the UNsaid on its website.
“On this year’s Zero Discrimination, let us remember all people living with HIV and health care workers who are working under the most difficult circumstances to deliver the highest quality of care for all,” Meg Doherty, director of WHO’s Global HIV, Hepatitis and STI Programmes said in a statement.
The day was first celebrated on March 1, 2014, and was launched by UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé on 27 February of that year with a major event in Beijing.