Skip to content
© Demonstration of people living with HIV in Venezuela – Photo courtesy of ACCSI Acción Ciudadana Contra el SIDA, Caracas, Venezuela

Urgent call to ensure human rights, social protection, and access to treatment for people living with HIV in Venezuela

Statement of the NGO Delegation

Over the past several months, the political and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela has escalated. The people of Venezuela are experiencing an extreme lack of basic goods and services, including food, potable water, housing, electricity, security, and, most importantly, access to healthcare and life-saving medications, including ARV. The poverty level has risen to approximately 90% in 2019, which is a 42% increase since 2014.

More than 120,000 men, women, and children live with HIV in Venezuela. From 2010 to 2016, new HIV infections jumped 24 percent. Pregnant women living with HIV are discriminated against, and during delivery, they are ill-treated by healthcare institutions. Children are born with HIV daily. These 120,000 people are now unnecessarily vulnerable to poor health outcomes due to lack of access to HIV treatment, other basic health commodities, and even food, with many dying of hunger and malnutrition.

In the past, Venezuela always provided treatment free of charge to those living with HIV. However, the collapse of the healthcare system, including the exodus of medical professionals, has aggravated the vulnerabilities of people most in need of health services. In addition to this, outbreaks of communicable diseases, such as tuberculosis, malaria, dengue, and even measles, have occurred in the last two years.

Various efforts have been made by PLHIV support organizations inside and outside of Venezuela to facilitate emergency support for those needing treatment. However, the situation remains volatile and uncertain, especially with PLHIV support organizations lacking access to available resources. They are also being monitored and subjected to intimidation, which hinders their ability to deliver services to those in need.

The NGO Delegation to the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board (PCB) asserts that health, including HIV treatment, is a human right that should never be denied to those in need. Access to treatment, food, housing, water, electricity, and health facilities should not be used as political weapons to suppress and stifle dissent.

We urge community and civil society organizations working on HIV and AIDS to join us in pressuring our own governments to call Venezuelan authorities to task and provide aid to those living with and vulnerable to HIV, including:

  • access to basic goods and services, including housing and security, nutritional support, and healthcare;
  • access to primary prevention such as condoms, needles and syringes, PrEP, etc.;
  • access to life-saving medications, including ARVs and treatment for Hepatitis C and TB
  • protection of basic human rights, including the right to life, health, and dignity

We call on the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS and Member States to respond at the level of the complex humanitarian emergency in Venezuela and in particular, to closely monitor the implementation of the National AIDS Programme.

We stand in solidarity with the people of Venezuela, especially those who are living with HIV. Together, we will remain steadfast in calling out this grave injustice, through our platform as members of the PCB, the global governance body of UNAIDS and beyond.

News | 2 May 2019

Share this page

Our NGO Delegation

The Programme Coordinating Board (PCB) was created to serve as the governing body of UNAIDS. The PCB includes a Nongovernmental Organization (NGO) Delegation composed of five members and five alternates that represent five geographic regions: Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and North America.

Read more >

UNAIDS and the UN

UNAIDS was established in 1994 through a resolution of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and made operational in January 1996.

Read more >


NGO Delegation to the UNAIDS PCB
Eerste Helmersstraat 17B3
1054 CX Amsterdam
The Netherlands
© 2024 NGO Delegation to the UNAIDS PCB Site by TwelveTrains Privacy Policy Change Cookie Settings