August 6, 2008, Mexico City--Over the past 25 years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, there has been a lot of attention paid to the development of sexuality education and services for people living with AIDS, as well on the factors that put certain groups at higher risk of contracting the virus. But what happens when a group of people is excluded from such programs, or experience compounded discrimination that puts them at even higher risk?
This was the subject of a panel discussion this afternoon called “Beyond Barriers: Disability and HIV/AIDS”. The panel featured studies from across the world – Brazil,
The parallels between the studies were striking; however, a second researcher from
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (“CRPD”) entered into force on May 3, 2008. One of only seven international human rights treaties to enter into force in the 60 years since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the CRPD did not create a new set of rights; rather, it acknowledges and clarifies the existing rights of persons with disabilities. The CRPD states that disability is an “evolving concept” that “results from the interaction between persons with impairments and attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinders their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.” The CRPD acknowledges the special discrimination connected with disability but also explains that discrimination on the basis of disability interacts with and magnifies other forms of discrimination. The interaction of disability and HIV/AIDS will be only one of these focuses.