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Thursday, 21 March 2019

UNAIDS in Egypt marks world Zero Discrimination Day

UNAIDS in Egypt has launched the “Society Free of Discrimination” campaign, enlisting celebrities to advocate on social media

Ingy Deif , Thursday 7 Mar 2019
Reuters
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Each year, countries start the month of March by celebrating "Zero Discrimination Day" in regards to people living with HIV.

Voices across the globe call for no one to be left behind when it comes to treatment, and Egypt is no different.

Fundamental to the campaign is to affirm the universal right to live a life free of stigma or discrimination, regardless of race, class or health condition.

Regarding discrimination faced by people living with HIV (PLHIV) in Egypt, the minister of health and population said steps have already been taken by the government to ensure treatment for all, but added that there is still more to be done to reach the goal of zero discrimination, to eradicate stigma, and to scale up prevention coverage.

UNAIDS Egypt country manager Dr Ahmed Khamis said in an issued statement that although strides have been made in Egypt with regards to treatments and services presented to PLHIV, more has to be done to end discrimination and reach the goal of zero HIV by 2030.

"Everyone can play an important role in ending discrimination and instigating change in different ways in their communities. I call on everyone to create a healthy environment free of discrimination through understanding and awareness-raising, especially targeting youth, to empower people living with HIV live in a discrimination-free society," he said.

UNAIDS will collaborate with celebrities on the “Society Free of Discrimination” campaign, including a social media campaign aimed at spread awareness on the topic of HIV and combating the related stigma.

UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organisations and works closely with global and national partners towards ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

According to a global report released by UNAIDS, the number of new HIV infections in 2015 was estimated to be 2.1 million.

Statistics issued from UNAIDS Egypt in 2014 indicate that the number of people registered as living with HIV inside Egypt is almost 8,800.

The estimated total number of people living with HIV, including those not registered, is 11,000.

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