Global Survey: Stigma, Isolation and Discrimination Still Pervasive

by Tim Horn at POZ

HIV-associated stigma, isolation and discrimination remain pervasive problems in the United States and other parts of the world and continue to have profound effects on people’s willingness to disclose their serostatus to key individuals in their lives. This is the finding of a global survey of 2,035 people living with HIV conducted by the International Association for Physicians in AIDS Care (IAPAC) on Thursday, July 22, at the XVIII International AIDS Conference in Vienna.

Suniti Solomon, MD, director of the YR Gaitonde Center for AIDS Research and Education in Chennai, India, presented the survey results on behalf of IAPAC. The survey found that stigma, isolation and discrimination are first among unique obstacles facing people living with HIV around the world. There is no shortage of research indicating that they affect HIV prevention and testing efforts, along with initiatives to link and retain people diagnosed with HIV in care and on treatment.

“An environment of tolerance in which an individual can take an HIV test and live with an HIV diagnosis is of paramount importance to effective HIV prevention and treatment programs at local and national levels,” Solomon said. “Health care providers bear the responsibility of ensuring compassionate and nonjudgmental care of patients.

“Society—or all of us—have a responsibility to break down the barriers of stigma, isolation and discrimination that persist almost 30 years into the global HIV pandemic,” she added.

Indeed, the IAPAC survey results illustrate that HIV-associated stigma, isolation and discrimination remain pervasive issues all over the world.  (Read More)


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