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.
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.
This year’s World AIDS Day campaign focuses on the right to health.
The #myrighttohealth campaign provides information about the right to health and what impact it has on people’s lives. It also aims to increase the visibility around the need to achieve the full realization of the right to health by everyone, everywhere.
Almost all of the Sustainable Development Goals are linked in some way to health, so achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, which include ending the AIDS epidemic, will depend heavily on ensuring the right to health.
Remarkable progress is being made on HIV treatment. UNAIDS has launched a new report showing that access to treatment has risen significantly. In 2000, just 685 000 people living with HIV had access to antiretroviral therapy. By June 2017, around 20.9 million people had access to the life-saving medicines. Such a dramatic scale-up could not have happened without the courage and determination of people living with HIV demanding and claiming their rights, backed up by steady, strong leadership and financial commitment.
- 19.5 million people were accessing antiretroviral therapy in 2016.
- 36.7 million [30.8 million–42.9 million] people globally were living with HIV in 2016.
- 1.8 million [1.6 million–2.1 million] people became newly infected with HIV in 2016.
- 1 million [830 000–1.2 million] people died from AIDS-related illnesses in 2016.
- 76.1 million [65.2 million–88.0 million] people have become infected with HIV since the start of the epidemic.
- 35.0 million [28.9 million–41.5 million] people have died from AIDS-related illnesses since the start of the epidemic.
- In 2016, there were 36.7 million [30.8 million–42.9 million] people living with HIV.