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August 14, 2014

HIV Coalition Claims U.S. in Violation of U.N. Racial Convention

Led by the HIV Prevention Justice Alliance (HIV PJA), a U.S. coalition of advocacy groups has submitted a report to the United Nations claiming the United States is in violation of the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), according to a statement by the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC). HIV PJA is a project of AFC. Both groups are part of the coalition.

The United States, which ratified CERD in January 2013, pledged to “address disparities in HIV prevention and care involving racial and ethnic minorities and other marginalized populations.” In a 2013 compliance report to the CERD committee, the United States cited the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) as its most important tool for ending racial disparities in new U.S. HIV cases. The report argues the NHAS will not meet its own goals.

The coalition report—drafted by consensus with assistance by the Center for HIV Law and Policy (CHLP), a coalition member—claims that high HIV rates in U.S. communities of color “are due in part to a combination of unjust and uneven policies and laws that enforce racism, stigma, criminalization and discrimination.” The report claims key contributors include mass imprisonment, poverty, unemployment and lack of health care access.

In addition to AFC, HIV PJA and CHLP, the other coalition members include the Counter Narrative Project, the National Working Positive Coalition, the Positive Women’s Network of the United States of America, the Sero Project, the Treatment Action Group and Women with a Vision.

To read the statement, click here.

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