Without addressing HIV among marginalized populations and human rights, it will not be possible to end the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030, according to experts at a World Health Assembly side event.
A high-level panel, which included UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé, called on health ministers to pledge to remove structural barriers to accessing HIV services and health care for all. The speakers also stressed the need for political commitment to leave no one behind. Ensuring that marginalized populations are not excluded from the universal health coverage target of the next sustainable development goals will be vital, they noted.
According to the participants, there is a risk that countries could seek to advance progress towards universal health coverage by focusing on easier to reach populations. In order to ensure that no one is left behind, measures will be needed to reduce the discrimination facing all marginalized groups and to ensure their meaningful participation in the development and implementation of health strategies.
The event set the stage for further dialogue among ministers of health to promote sharing of experiences on securing access to HIV services and health care for all.