EOC Statement on World AIDS Day
In supporting the United Nations World AIDS Day (1 December 2008), Chairperson of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC), Mr. Raymond TANG said, “The HIV/AIDS pandemic presents one of the greatest medical and social challenges of our time. The fight against HIV/AIDS is more urgent than ever, with the pandemic continuing to grow and imposing a huge burden on millions of families and individuals worldwide. It is time for us as a community to draw on resources, focus our attention and assist those who are most vulnerable.”
“Fighting HIV/AIDS is not only a great challenge but also a moral imperative for those who believe in the value and dignity of every human life. People living with HIV/AIDS still face significant discrimination and stigmatization and are denied the opportunity to fully participate in their communities,” said Mr. TANG.
Mr. TANG pointed out, “Being an obstacle to the prevention, care and treatment of HIV and AIDS, HIV-related stigma and discrimination continue to be potentially the most difficult aspect of the HIV epidemic to address. However, addressing it would likely be the key to overcoming and reducing the impact of HIV/AIDS in its various ramifications and the key to tackling the epidemic.”
“Creating an environment in which there is respect for the human rights of people infected with the virus or affected by it will help them live a life of dignity without discrimination. Such an environment can also reduce the number of people vulnerable to infection,” explained Mr. TANG.
“The efforts of eliminating discrimination should be geared towards safeguarding the dignity of individuals – affected and infected – and the respect for human rights. Approaches must be multi-pronged with policies put in place to ensure the elimination of stigma, and an effective monitoring mechanism to challenge discrimination when it occurs,” elaborated Mr. TANG.
Hong Kong’s Disability Discrimination Ordinance protects people living with HIV/AIDS by ensuring that they are not subjected to discrimination in the areas of education, employment and provision of goods, services and facilities. The law also helps to induce acceptance and achieve inclusion.
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30 November 2008
Equal Opportunities Commission