amfAR | November 20, 2014
Anand Grover served as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health from 2008 until July 2014. He remains project direct of the Lawyer’s Collective HIV/AIDS Unit in New Delhi and has led many of the landmark legal efforts that advanced the rights of people living with HIV in India, including the lawsuit that resulted in the temporary decriminalization of homosexuality in 2009. Grover has also successfully argued cases about HIV-related discrimination in the workplace, drug patent laws, and the human rights of all marginalized populations impacted by HIV, including men who have sex with men (MSM), people who inject drugs (PWID), and sex workers.
TREAT Asia Report: You recently stepped down after six years as the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the right to health. What do you view as the Asia-Pacific region’s most important accomplishments regarding improving access to quality, comprehensive HIV care during that time?
Anand Grover: There have been several achievements. Between 2009 and 2013, there was a 46% increase in overall HIV treatment coverage, which is a huge achievement in such a short period. This was possible largely because there was investment in empowerment of communities affected by HIV, which created an increased demand for services and caused community and civil society participation in decision-making at all levels of policy formulation, implementation, and monitoring of implementation.
Since 2001, there has been a 26% reduction in the rate of new HIV infections in the region; however, certain trends have emerged that are deeply concerning. In the Asia-Pacific, HIV is now mainly concentrated among key vulnerable populations, like MSM and PWID. Countries in the region should focus on HIV prevention and care services for these groups to ensure that HIV is controlled and all those who require treatment get access to it.