WHO is recognising the right of all people to live healthy, full, and productive lives with dignity on Zero Discrimination Day, March 1, 2022, regardless of the status of their HIV, viral hepatitis, or sexually transmitted infections.
In May 2022, the 75th World Health Assembly has decided to discuss global health sector plans on HIV, viral hepatitis, and sexually transmitted diseases for the period 2022-2030. The draught strategies emphasise how the massive expansion of services required to meet the 2030 goals and targets will be impossible to achieve unless it is complemented by increased measures to combat stigma and discrimination.
To stop HIV, viral hepatitis, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), it is critical to remove stigma and prejudice in healthcare settings, including for men who have sex with men, sex workers, drug users, persons in jail, and transgender people. Health care professionals that are empathetic and nonjudgmental are needed to provide equitable, high-quality, and person-centered care.
The health industry can play an important role by collecting data on how stigma and prejudice affect people living with HIV, viral hepatitis, and sexually transmitted illnesses.
In order to address the larger determinants of health, the health sector plays an important convening role for multisectoral partnerships.
The first Zero Discrimination Day focused on HIV to show how individuals may learn about and promote the rights of HIV-positive and HIV-affected persons. Its focus has shifted in recent years to include all forms of prejudice that have an influence on one’s quality of life, health, and well-being.
“Let us remember all persons living with HIV and health care workers who labour under the most difficult conditions to provide the greatest quality of care for everybody on this year’s Zero Discrimination,” said Director of WHO’s Global HIV, Hepatitis, and STI Programmes, Dr. Meg Doherty.
On Zero Discrimination Day, March 1st, we celebrate everyone’s right to a full and productive life, and to live it with dignity. Zero Discrimination Day is assisting in the creation of a global solidarity movement to abolish all forms of discrimination. People can learn about and support inclusiveness, compassion, peace, and, most importantly, a movement for change on Zero Discrimination Day.
This year’s Zero Discrimination Day, under the subject “Remove laws that harm, establish laws that empower,” UNAIDS emphasises the critical need to take action against discriminatory laws.