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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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Project and 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 officer

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, he is a communication officer at Salud por Derecho.


Research and advocacy manager

Adrián studied Pharmacy at Madrid’s Complutense University and holds a master’s in Global Health from Barcelona’s Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal)/University of Barcelona. He has developed his career in access to medicines and innovation policies as an independent consultant, at the Dutch non-profit Access to Medicine Foundation and as an academic researcher and project manager at Geneva’s Global Health Centre, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. Currently, he works as research and advocacy manager at Salud por Derecho.


Research and Advocacy officer


Jaime Manzano holds a degree in Pharmacy from the Complutense University of Madrid and a joint’s Master’s Degree in International Humanitarian Action from Uppsala and Groningen University. He has experience in the areas of pharmacovigilance and community pharmacy and has worked at Doctors without Borders in Chad. He currently works as advocacy and research officer at Salud por Derecho Foundation, focusing on access to medicines and migration policies.


Communication and Press manager

Lydia is a digital journalist specializing in corporate communication. She has worked in regional and national media. She co-founded Periodismo Humano, a news source focused on human rights. She has also produced documentaries in Morocco, Brazil, and Spain, worked for an NGO combating slavery in Brazil, and served as the Latin American communications coordinator for an international cooperation organization. Currently, she is in charge of Communications for Salud por Derecho.


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Elena Villanueva holds a degree in Communication from the Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca, a Master’s degree in European Studies from the University of Louvain, and a degree in Public Policy from the American University in Washington D.C. She has worked as an Analysis Coordinator at the Global Health Institute in Barcelona, as well as in other organizations such as Oxfam, Transparency International, Salud por Derecho, and Medicines Patent Pool (MPP). Additionally, she has participated as an election observer in OSCE observation missions in Russia and Kyrgyzstan. Currently, she is part of the Technical Secretariat of the Covid-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP).


With over 30 years of experience in Health Management and Policy, Fernando Lamata holds a degree in Medicine and Surgery, a Doctor of Medicine degree, a Specialist degree in Psychiatry, and a Diploma in the General Management Program at IESE. Throughout his career, he has held various positions, including Provincial Director of Insalud in Cantabria and Madrid, General Director of the National School of Health, General Director of Planning at the Ministry of Health of Madrid, Project Consultant for the European Union, Minister of Health and Social Welfare of Castilla-La Mancha, Secretary General of Health at the Ministry of Health, Vice President of the Government of Castilla-La Mancha, and Deputy in the Parliament of Castilla-La Mancha. Currently, he is a member of the Association for Fair Access to Medicines and serves on the Advisory Council of the Ministry of Health


Melania Trejo holds a degree in Psychology from the Universidad Iberoamericana Mexico City and a Master’s degree in International Health from the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam. With over 15 years of experience, she has worked with civil society, governments, and international organizations in protecting and promoting human rights. She worked with non-governmental organizations in Mexico and Kenya before becoming a gender specialist for UNAIDS Guatemala, and later a program officer at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Since 2015, she has been working as an independent consultant, with a focus on supporting the mobilization of communities affected by HIV in Latin American countries


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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, Fundación Salud y Fármacos, European Climate Foundation and The Ronald W. Naito MD Foundation.

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