Over the decades of the HIV/ AIDS epidemic there have been many advances in treatment and care, and HIV is now considered to be a chronic medical condition rather than the fatal illness it once was. Unfortunately, people living with HIV have been stigmatised and discriminated against since the virus was first discovered in the 1980s, and it continues...
Today, stigma and discrimination faced by people living with HIV remains a major issue. It appears in many forms and ranges from rejection by friends, family or partners to being physically assaulted. It's also a distinctly unattractive trait among some gay men using hook-up web apps.
As well as leading to feelings of isolation, depression and fear, stigma can also contribute to the spread of HIV. If someone is scared to go for a test, they may not know that they are HIV positive, and that could lead to them unknowingly infecting someone else. Fear of testing is often what leads to people being diagnosed late, which means they are in poorer health when diagnosed and in turn may not respond as quickly or as well to treatment, which ultimately means they reduced their opportunities for returning to good health.
stigma ˈstɪɡmə/ noun
Mark of shame and humiliation often driven by views, beliefs and assumptions we make about people. Makes it more likely that people will be singled out, ostracised, or marked out as strange, different (not in a nice way) and, in some cases, thought of as dangerous. Stigma is crippling, bringing on feelings of isolation, shame, hopelessness, blame, self-hatred, which often prevents people from seeking help and support.
Our treatment of HIV has advanced. Why hasn't the stigma changed? | TED Talks | 25 Jan 2018 | 17m 6s
"Many people have fears, prejudices or negative attitudes about HIV. Stigma can result in people living with HIV being insulted, rejected, gossiped about and excluded from social activities. At its extreme, stigma can drive people to physical violence. People living with HIV often feel nervous about telling others that they have HIV due to the fear of stigma or discrimination. This can lead to isolation and feeling unsupported, which can have a significant impact on health and wellbeing. Stigma, whether perceived or real, often fuels myths, misconceptions and choices, impacting people’s HIV education and awareness. It can result in people with HIV believing some of the things that other people say about HIV, even when these are not true."
What is stigma? | NAM aidsmap
HIV, stigma and discrimination | NAM Aidsmap
Stop HIV stigma | GMFA
HIV isn’t dirty, stigma is | GMFA
HIV stigma and discrimination | Avert
Stigma and HIV | Terrence Higgins Trust
People Living with HIV: UK Stigma Index | FPA | 2015-17
People living with HIV stigma index (worldwide) | Stigma Index
Meghan and Harry pay touching tribute to Princess Diana’s HIV work to mark first day of Pride Month | Evening Standard | 1 Jun 2019
Being black and gay: how intersectional stigma impacts on the uptake of PrEP | NAM aidsmap 17 May 2019
HIV criminalisation cases recorded in 72 countries, including 49 in the last four years |s NAM aidsmap | 3 Jun 2019
Stigma, access and testing: why HIV is still rising in Europe | NAM aidsmap | 11 Dec 2018
The stigma of HIV still remains | The Guardian | 15 Aug 2013
Living with the stigma of HIV | Michael Rizzi | 24 Nov 2015 | 6m 48s
Living with the Stigma of HIV | BBC Three | 14 Jul 2018 | 3m 25s
End stigma around HIV testing, says Prince Harry | Guardian News | Guardian News | 17 Nov 2018 | 2m 11s
Grindr Users Talk About HIV Stigma | Grindr | 9 Oct 2018 | 4m 48s
HIV: living with the stigma | Channel 4 News | 17 Dec 2015 | 5m 12s
The stigma of HIV/AIDS: connecting the dots | RYOT | 21 Apr 2015 | 2m 58s
Luke on HIV stigma | Saving Lives @ Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust | 21 Nov 2014 | 1m 6s
HIV stigma: I have judged.. other people are going to judge me | HIV Foundation Queensland | 16 Jun 2014 | 9m 12s
The day I found out I was HIV positive | ImFromDriftwood | 8 Jun 2012 | 3m 2s