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UNICEF expresses alarm over stigmatization of people living with AIDS

BAKU, 13 July 2007 – UNICEF Representative in Azerbaijan Hanaa Singer expressed alarm today over growing stigmatization towards people living with HIV.

“With many people continuing to associate HIV with negative stereotypes of drug addicts, prostitutes and “bad behavior”, UNICEF would like also to remind that no one is immune from the disease and more must be done to foster care and support within communities and society at large,” she said.

“The media can be an essential tool in combating HIV/AIDS. More than any other disease, AIDS is driven by a combination of social factors, including inequality, stigmatization and ignorance.”

UNICEF is also regretful that Article 34 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child on “protecting the child from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse” and Article 24 concerning “the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health and to facilities for treatment of illness and rehabilitation of health” were violated in some of media reports.

Additionally, UNICEF reminds that the child affected by situations of sale, prostitution and pornography should be considered mainly as a victim, not as a perpetrator, and, thus, we appeal to all concerned to ensure full respect for victim’s human dignity, as well as special protection support within the family and society.



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