(New York) - Human Rights Watch mourns the death of Dr. Robert Carr, an international human rights and HIV/AIDS activist who worked tirelessly to defend the health and human rights of people living with HIV, or at risk from the disease.

His family announced today that Carr died in his sleep at his home in Toronto, where he worked as director of policy and advocacy with the International Council of AIDS Service Organisations (ICASO).

"Robert Carr was a friend and an inspiration to so many of us," said Rebecca Schleifer, advocacy director for health and human rights at Human Rights Watch. "He cared deeply about the human rights of every person living with HIV. And he worked tirelessly to ensure that those rights were protected, and that human rights were central in responding to the epidemic."

Carr was previously the executive director of Jamaica AIDS Support, and the founder and executive director of the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition. Trained as a social worker, he taught at the University of the West Indies, was a member of the UNAIDS Reference Group on HIV and Human Rights, and was internationally known for his work on stigma associated with the disease. His passion for social justice was matched by his articulate and determined defense of individuals who were socially marginalized. 

"Robert Carr touched the lives of those who were fortunate enough to know him and the lives of those who benefited from his tremendous work," said Joe Amon, health and human rights director at Human Rights Watch. "Among HIV activists, human rights activists, and across the globe where Robert worked his death is a tremendous loss."