World AIDS Day (WAD) 2014

photo: Photo: ChiLam-Ly

On World AIDS Day (WAD) 2014, the ITUC commemorates the many millions of people who have lost their lives to HIV/AIDS, and pays tribute to those living with HIV and those who have fought to bring attention to the epidemic and advocate for action.

Despite the progress achieved, HIV continues to be a major global public health issue, having claimed more than 39 million lives so far. 2.1 million people were newly infected with HIV in 2013. Two-thirds of those most in need lack access to life-saving treatment, and people infected and affected by HIV continue to suffer from discrimination, stigmatisation and deprivation of rights. Sub-Saharan Africa remains the region most affected, with two thirds of the total number of people living with HIV, as well as the majority of both new HIV infections and new AIDS-related deaths. But HIV/AIDS is also threatening many other countries and regions.

Trade unions are vigorously committed to uphold their strong and continued leadership in confronting health inequalities and HIV/AIDS in the world of work and to ensure that the progress and investments already made will not erode. Decent work, with freedom of association and other fundamental rights, is central to addressing underlying vulnerabilities to HIV. It enables women and young men to take their rightful place in the economy and society and provides youth with more stable and productive options for the future.

Trade unions will therefore highlight the 2011-2015 WAD theme, “Getting to Zero: Zero New HIV Infections. Zero Discrimination. Zero AIDS-Related Deaths", to call for more social justice, equality and fairness of future action, recognition of the role of the world of work in the AIDS response, as well as special attention to gender-sensitive approaches.