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We are a non-profit foundation that defends human rights so that all people, wherever they live, can exercise their right to health. We work independently of institutions, religious beliefs, and political ideologies. We receive support from memberships, private donors and foundations.

In 2003, a group of activists decided to come together in order to get Spain and the rest of the world to stop looking the other way in the fight against AIDS in impoverished countries, those most affected by the disease. Today, Salud por Derecho creates campaigns, formulates proposals and advocates the defence of the right to health from the perspective of social justice and inequality. We work on putting the focus on governments and addressing causes and solutions that would tackle the infringement on the right to health in the long run.

We work on a national, European and global level from our headquarters in Madrid.


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40 million people are currently infected with the AIDS virus worldwide, 90% in impoverished countries, and only 45% have access to treatment. AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis epidemics are exacerbated by poverty, exclusion, inequality and the violation of fundamental human rights.

The crisis in the health systems of developing countries is another factor that causes the spread of these pandemics, along with the fact that 400 million people lack access to basic health services or fall further into poverty by having to pay for them. On the other hand, more than a third of the world’s population has no access to the medicine they need because they are not developed, due to a lack of sufficient profits for the industry or because high prices make these drugs unaffordable for patients and health systems.


Promote a comprehensive system of social health protection that ensures that all people have access to quality public services.


Ensure universal access to HIV/AIDS treatment, prevention and care by protecting the rights of the most vulnerable populations.


Reforming the pharmaceutical R&D model to ensure the development of, and access to, the drugs that people need at an affordable price.


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Co-founder and Chairman of the Board

Manuel has been the chairman of Salud por Derecho since it was founded. He holds a Master’s degree in Sustainable Development, Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid from Comillas Pontifical University. He has been a volunteer at the NGO Manos Unidas for years. He is currently a coordinator at the Coordinadora de ONGD in Salamanca.


Co-founder, Executive Director and Secretary of the Board

Vanessa holds a degree in Social Psychology from the Autonomous University of Madrid and a Master’s Degree in International Cooperation for Development from Comillas Pontifical University, after which she co-founded Salud por Derecho in 2004. Vanessa is a regular speaker at events related to HIV/AIDS and access to medicine. She has participated on Spanish Parliament, Senate and regional parliament committees, as well as in high-level meetings for the United Nations Programme on HIV as a representative of civil society and on the Boards of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. She is also a board member of Salud y Fármacos NGO; and Health Action International (HAI)


Cofounder and Member of the Board


Javier holds a Master’s Degree in International Cooperation from Comillas Pontifical University. He has worked at Entreculturas, an NGO specializing in education, since 2002. He has served as the Regional Coordinator of projects financed by the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation for Development (AECID) in Colombia, Bolivia and the Dominican Republic. He is currently head of Salud por Derecho’s Latin America Division.


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Advocacy manager

María holds a degree in Political Science and Sociology. She worked in the human resources department of an IT company in London for two years, followed by three years as part of the Málaga Film Festival coordination team. She has 10 years of experience as a technical project manager for an NGO for international cooperation, spending four of these years in Bolivia. She has served as Advocacy Manager at Salud por Derecho since 2014, implementing HIV and global health financing advocacy projects.


Communication and Press manager

Pablo studied journalism at Rey Juan Carlos University in Madrid. He has worked at the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders in Madrid and the Campaign for Access to Medicines in Geneva. Today, as a member of the Salud por Derecho team, he writes press releases and articles and serves as a point of contact with the media.


Advocacy manager

Irene has a degree in Sociology and Political Science from the Complutense University of Madrid and is currently completing her doctoral thesis. She spent over 15 years working on development policy and social policy reforms in different areas: Expatriate in Palestine and Bosnia-Herzegovina with UNDP; Associate Professor at the Miguel Hernández University of Sociology and Social Anthropology; Project Manager for European Social Funds; Development Policy and Social Policy Advisor at ministerial level; manager of an NGO; and currently works as an access to medicines advocacy manager at Salud por Derecho and Policy Coordinator for the No Es Sano campaign.


Communication and Press manager

Lydia is digital journalist specializing in corporate communication. She has worked in regional and national media. She confounded Periodismo Humano (Human Journalism), a news source focused on human rights. She has also filmed documentaries in Morocco, Brazil and Spain, has worked at an NGO to combat slavery in Brazil and has been the Latin American communications coordinator for an international cooperation organization. She is currently responsible for communications for the No Es Sano (It’s Not Healthy) campaign.


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Our partners, private donors and foundations provide support for Salud por Derecho and we do not accept funding from the pharmaceutical industry. Our donors include Open Society Foundations, New Venture Fund, Elton John AIDS Foundation, Fundación José Luis de Berrueta and Fundación Salud y Fármacos.

We are transparent with our accounts. You can consult our annual reports here.