Building healthy communitiesJoin Us

Removing human rights-related barriers

“The axes of poverty, gender, sexual orientation, race, age and class intersect. Some are getting the benefit of science, but others are not. Some are getting quality people-centered services, but others are not. We must therefore focus our efforts on addressing inequality in access and inequality in outcome…” – UNAIDS Executive Director, Winnie Byanyima

Despite the significant gains that have been made in the AIDS response over the past 40 years, the most marginalised people continue to be disproportionately impacted: young women, sex workers, transgender people, men who have sex with men, people who use drugs and others like migrants and prisoners. It is clear that the final push towards ending AIDS will be impossible unless we address the social, legal and economic barriers to services – the human rights-related barriers.

Drawing on the experience of civil society organisations like NACOSA, institutions and funders, Frontline AIDS, together with the Global Fund and GIZ, have developed and published a practical guide to implementing and scaling up programmes to remove human rights-related barriers to HIV services. The guide describes the barriers to HIV services that many people continue to face; why concrete programmes are needed to remove them and the evidence-informed programmes that can achieve this. It provides step-by-step guidance to enable implementers to plan, implement and evaluate programmes to remove human rights-related barriers to services.

The guide shows how it has become clear from experience, as well as the data, that adolescent girls and young women continue to acquire HIV, in large part due to gender inequality, poverty and gender-based violence (GBV). Key populations continue to acquire HIV, often due to the criminalisation, marginalisation and violence that they experience. Prisoners, refugees, migrants and people with disabilities suffer from limited or no access to HIV prevention and treatment services, and people living with HIV are discouraged from accessing HIV prevention and treatment interventions for fear of stigma and discrimination.

The guide is a practical resource for any organisation working with key and vulnerable populations in the context of HIV and AIDS. It outlines how to identify barriers, develop and deliver interventions at scale and measure the impact of these interventions.

Read about how human rights-related barriers impact on people who use drugs in South Africa.