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Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, E/CN.4/2003/58, February 13, 2003

B. Discrimination and stigma and the right to health

60. Non-discrimination is among the most fundamental principles of international human rights law. According to CESCR, ICESCR “proscribes any discrimination in access to health care and underlying determinants of health, as well as to means and entitlements for their procurement, on the grounds of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, physical or mental disability, health status (including HIV/AIDS), sexual orientation and civil, political, social or other status, which has the intention or effect of nullifying or impairing the equal enjoyment or exercise of the right to health”.

4. People living with HIV/AIDS

68. Stigma associated with HIV/AIDS builds upon and reinforces prejudices related to gender, poverty, sexuality, race and other factors. Fears related to illness and death; the association of HIV with sex workers, men having sex with men and injecting drug use; and beliefs that attribute moral fault to people living with HIV/AIDS all contribute to the impact of stigma and often give rise to intolerance and discrimination. Stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS affects the spread and impact of the disease in several crucial ways. (…)

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