01/12/2012

Open Embassy

Washington D.C., United States – Argentine Embassy – December 1st, 2012

The More Peace Less AIDS Foundation Visits the OAS

By special invitation from the OAS Secretary-General, Dr. José Miguel Insulza, the President of the More Peace Less AIDS Foundation (MPLAF) and former President of ICW GLOBAL, Patricia Pérez and the Argentine representative to the OAS, Martín Gómez Bustillo presented the MPLAF Campaign in Washington D.C. at the plenary session of the OAS Permanent Council.

Experts discussed the challenges involved in the protection of the human rights of women living with HIV and AIDS and the progress carried out by regional and international organizations in the field. Public policy recommendations were made to promote and protect the human rights of these individuals.

The session was launched by the Secretary of External Relations for the Agency, Ambassador Alfonso Quiñonez and moderated by the Executive-Secretary for the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM), Mrs. Carmen Moreno. The conference began with a presentation from the More Peace Less AIDS Foundation’s president, Patricia Pérez. She claimed that the problem with HIV/AIDS was not only medical or scientific but also political. She insisted on a call to action so as to put the issue on the international policy agenda.

In her presentation, Pérez noted the importance of putting human rights of women on the OAS’ regional political agenda. She thanked them for their support and praised them for assigning several permanent representatives to tackle the issue. She added that human rights are a great importance so that the countries in this hemisphere can become developed. She further commented that “I will leave this ‘House of Americas’ knowing that I have been heard by great political leaders who have shown sensitivity and have made the effort to understand the relationship between peace and AIDS.” She then stated: “We have a great possibility of political leadership throughout the Americas so to address the gravity of the disease and we are using peace as a definite tool to fight it”.

Various topics were discussed such as difficulties in accessing antiretroviral medicine; the lack of methods to treat specific pediatric problems; discrimination, homophobia and the lack of respect for the freedom of decision for affected women.

Furthermore, Sonja Caffe, the Advisor for the HIV Prevention Project of the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) alluded to the inequalities that exist in the Americas in regards to health care access. She also spoke of the importance of identifying the barriers that prevent the promotion of gender equality in healthcare access.

Finally, the Director of Development Connections, Dinys Luciano, highlighted the need to implement a comprehensive sex education program so as to “break the social nature of the systematic violation of human rights against HIV/AIDS-positive women and to recognize the poverty and social exclusion that cripples this specific population”.

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