The right to health is the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, as enshrined in the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. This includes the right of everyone, including people living with and affected by HIV, to the prevention and treatment of ill health, to make decisions about one’s own health and to be treated with respect and dignity and without discrimination.
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. Without the conditions to ensure access to justice, the right to a clean environment, the right to be free from violence or the right to education, for example, we cannot fulfil our right to health.
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 will focus on the right to health.
In the lead-up to 1 December, the #myrighttohealth campaign will explore the challenges people around the world face in exercising their right to health.
The #myrighttohealth campaign will provide information about the right to health and what impact it has on people’s lives. It will also aim 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.
Starting from 6 November, the campaign will offer a space for people to express their views on the right to health and what needs to be done to ensure that everyone can realize that right.