Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What is HIV/AIDS Stigma?

what is HIV/AIDS stigma?

HIV/AIDS-related stigma is a complex concept that refers to prejudice, discounting, discrediting and discrimination directed at persons perceived to have AIDS or HIV, as well as their partners, friends, families and communities.

HIV/AIDS stigma often reinforces existing social inequalities based on gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality and culture. Stigma against many populations disproportionately affected by HIV has been present for a long time in the US. HIV has compounded the stigma of homosexuality, drug use, poverty, sex work and racial minority status.

HIV/AIDS stigma is a problem in the US and throughout the world. Stigma has been expressed in a variety of ways, including: 1) ostracism, rejection and avoidance of people living with AIDS; 2) discrimination against people living with AIDS by their families, health care professionals, communities and governments; 3) mandatory HIV testing of individuals without prior informed consent or confidentiality protections; 4) quarantine of persons who are HIV infected; and 5) violence against persons who are perceived to have AIDS, be infected with HIV or belong to “high risk groups.”
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