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The Role of Human Rights in Ensuring Universal Access to HIV Testing and Counseling

October 12-13, 2009

Geneva, Switzerland

LAHI & PHW

Open Society Institute‘s Public Health Program, the Secretariat of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS Secretariat), and the World Health Organization (WHO)‘s meeting “The Role of Human Rights in Ensuring Universal Access to HIV Testing and Counseling” on October 12-13, 2009

 

 

The Open Society Institute’s Public Health Program, the Secretariat of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS Secretariat) and the World Health Organization are pleased to welcome you to “The Role of Human Rights in Ensuring Universal Access to HIV Testing and Counselling.”  We hope this meeting will make substantial progress towards bridging the gap between existing HIV testing and counselling guidance and implementation to ensure human rights in HIV testing and counselling scale-up.

 

The last few years have seen a significant expansion of HIV testing and counselling, a necessary pre-condition for achieving the goal of universal access to comprehensive prevention, treatment, care and support by 2010.  However, HIV testing and counselling is not implemented fully and correctly unless human rights approaches are integrated into all aspects of its delivery.  This includes not only respect for the “three C’s” of pre-test information or counselling and post-test counselling, informed and voluntary consent to testing and confidentiality of test results, but also ensuring an enabling environment that protects people from discrimination, violence, abandonment, ostracism, and other potential negative consequences of a positive test result. 

 

The agenda for this meeting is designed to address 1) two types of barriers and concerns to implementing human rights in HIV testing: political/systemic, and technical, and 2) how we can move from discussion towards concrete ways to measure progress over time.

 

The participants represent a wide variety of constituencies, including people living with and affected by HIV, implementers of HIV testing programs, donors and representatives of multilateral agencies, researchers, and human rights advocates.  We hope to approach these challenging issues in a spirit of cooperation and mutual dedication to the aspirations of universal access and human rights.