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HRC31: Panel Discussion on Human Rights and the HIV/AIDS Epidemic
March 11, 2016

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America as delivered by Amanda Wall

31st Session of the Human Rights Council
March 11, 2016

Mr. President, this discussion comes at a critical moment in the fight against HIV/AIDS.  If we accelerate our efforts now, we can achieve the 90-90-90 targets by 2020 and break the back of the epidemic.  With its Fast-Track Strategy for 2016-2021, UNAIDS has shown us exactly what we need to do to achieve these critical targets and ultimately end the epidemic by 2030.  We must focus our efforts on the most effective interventions in the highest burden geographic areas and within targeted populations.  Most importantly, we must leave no one behind.

Stigma, discrimination, and gender inequality continue to fuel the epidemic by deterring those most in need from accessing lifesaving HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and care services.  As Ambassador Birx, the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, has stated: “We won’t see an end to the epidemic as long as people living with HIV/AIDS feel unsafe and are forced to the fringes of their communities.”  The United States is committed to ending stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS and those most at risk, particularly men who have sex with men, transgender people, people who inject drugs, sex workers, and adolescent girls and young women.  By valuing and promoting human rights, we can break down barriers that block vulnerable individuals from accessing health services.  To end the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2030, we must work to end stigma and discrimination, and engage and partner with those most vulnerable and in need of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment services.

Thank you, Mr. President.