The right to health is a basic human right, connected to all other rights, from land rights to rights to education, alongside equality and a violence-free life.

It is not a coincidence that HIV and AIDS disproportionately affects criminalised and marginalised people. It is largely due to the fact that by virtue of who they are or what they do, their rights are more likely to be denied, and no less when attempting to access HIV services. This can increase their risk of HIV and make them less likely to access effective testing, treatment and care.

People deserve their rights to be respected for no other reason than because they are human. But it is also a necessity that they are respected if we are going to end AIDS.

Our approach

In all that we do, we consider the human rights of the people with whom we work, or who we might affect. We acknowledge that it takes many different players to uphold individual human rights ranging between states as duty bearers and individuals as rights holders. We engage in several different ways, from engaging communities to demand rights-compliant services to engaging in global advocacy.


We’re proud of the work we do to support the human rights of those at risk from, or living with, HIV. In 2017 we and our partners:

  • Documented and responded to individual cases of violence and discrimination in 25 countries.
  • Helped more than 13,000 people via our Rapid Response Fund, which responds to crises affecting access to HIV services for men who have sex with men and lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.


For Ugandan-born Matofu, the threat of violence had become a way of life, because people reacted to him being gay.

Fleeing his home for a refugee camp in Malawi didn’t help. When he tried to report physical attacks against him, camp police simply taunted him. And the problems didn’t just affect him. His young son Suphi has also been subjected to horrific levels of abuse.

Thanks to the determination of one Frontline AIDS partner, all this has changed, though. In 2018, after months of dogged campaigning, father and son won refugee status and now live in Canada.

“Now we’re in Canada and focused on getting a great life and future,” says Matofu. “Suphi is longing for school, which he’s about to start. He wants to become a doctor.”

Matofu and Suphi’s story

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