On the 6th November, 2016, UNAIDS officially launched the 2017 World AIDS Day theme: The Right to Health. World AIDS Day will be commemorated under this theme globally, and Lesotho is no exception.
The right to health is the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, as enshrined in the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. This includes the right of everyone, including people living with and affected by HIV, to the prevention and treatment of ill health, to make decisions about one’s own health and to be treated with respect and dignity and without discrimination.
Everyone, regardless of who they are or where they live, has a right to health, which is also dependent on adequate sanitation and housing, nutritious food, healthy working conditions and access to justice.
The right to health is supported by, and linked to, a wider set of rights. Without the conditions to ensure access to justice, the right to a clean environment, the right to be free from violence or the right to education, for example, we cannot fulfil our right to health.
Ending AIDS as a public health threat can only happen if these rights are placed at the centre of global health, so that quality health care is available and accessible for everyone and leaves no one behind.
Objectives of WAD 2017 Commemoration in Lesotho:
i. To sensitise the country’s leadership and the public on progress and challenges in the national HIV and AIDS response, particularly around the right to health
ii. To sensitise country leadership and the public on the results of LEPHIA and implications for national HIV and AIDS programming
iii. To advocate at all levels for the right to health for all, “leaving no one behind”
iv. To bring attention to the need for healthcare that is devoid of discrimination and stigma
v. To sensitise communities on the importance of respecting human rights for all groups in society for the well-being of all
vi. To mobilise goodwill ambassadors to raise awareness on 90-90-90 targets and advocate for individual ownership of and commitment to reaching the goal by 2020 particularly through HIV testing and ART adherence
vii. To reach senior citizens and men as culturally powerful groups with the WAD messages
viii. To revive communication on the option of delayed sexual debut and abstinence to adolescents and youth
ix. To highlight the importance of the implementation of the Public Sector Mainstreaming guidelines.