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IAS statement: IAS urges protection of health services amid the Israel-Hamas conflict

21 May 2024 (Geneva, Switzerland) – IAS – the International AIDS Society – is deeply concerned about the impact of the escalating humanitarian crisis in the midst of the Israel-Hamas conflict and urgently calls for the protection of healthcare facilities and workers. Where facilities have already been destroyed, rebuilding them to enable the resumption of health services is of utmost urgency.

Many affected communities, including people living with HIV, are now without vital healthcare services when they are most needed. As in many current ongoing conflicts, the loss of healthcare facilities has resulted in devastating consequences for civilian populations.

One of the key lessons from the HIV pandemic is that health and human rights are inextricably linked. Respecting healthcare's sanctity is crucial in Gaza and beyond to avoid exacerbating dire humanitarian situations and mitigating long-term public health consequences.

The thoughts of the IAS are with all affected in Gaza and Israel, as well as all other areas of conflict. We stand in solidarity with the many frontline health and development workers and advocates who work tirelessly in the face of danger to reduce the impact of conflict that threatens the right to life and health. The belief in our collective humanity must remain strong.

The IAS promotes the use of non-stigmatizing, people-first language. The translations are all automated in the interest of making our content as widely accessible as possible. Regretfully, they may not always adhere to the people-first language of the original version.