2008

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High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS

The UN Family Rights Caucus organized and chaired its first UN event at this UN High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS. At this conference, sexual rights advocacy groups that promote some of the highest-risk behaviors for spreading the HIV virus as sexual rights were distributing lobbying materials to governments claiming the answer to the AIDS pandemic was to “destigmatize” high-risk sexual behaviors that spread AIDS such as prostitution and “men having sex with men.”  They reasoned that otherwise, these “vulnerable groups” would go underground and would not seek testing or treatment.

The UN Family Rights Caucus organized a panel to counteract this message, and the panel debated the question “Should Governments Destigmatize the Highest Risk Behaviors for Contracting HIV?”  The panel concluded that the compassionate response to those engaging in high-risk sexual behaviors is to inform them of the risks and discourage the behaviors in public policy and education programs while working to also promote compassion and support for people living with or affected by HIV and AIDS.