Eleven Ways to Stop Stigma
December 11, 2015
Stigma is a complex social issue, and one that has wide-reaching detrimental effects on our community. When social shame is imposed upon people in a particular circumstance, it can have adverse effects on health: HIV stigma can prevent people from getting tested or knowing their status, and from reaching out to family, friends or other potential sources of social support out of fear or rejection. Stigma related to substance use prevents people who use drugs from accessing beneficial health care, social or harm reduction services. And stigma related to HIV-prevention tools like PrEP impede its uptake by people who might benefit.
So what can be done to reduce stigma? What can we do in our own lives to help combat the negative perceptions and judgments of people living with HIV, those who use PrEP, those who are homeless and those who use illegal substances? In honor of World AIDS Day 2015, we asked San Francisco AIDS Foundation staff to share what they do in their own lives-and what others can do-to end stigma. Here's what they had to say.
I Share My Story
"So many people think of HIV/AIDS as something that doesn't affect them, not realizing that I've been living with HIV for 7 years. I share my story as often as I can, in the hopes of opening their eyes to what HIV positive people deal with on a daily basis. Everyone has been affected by HIV/AIDS. We have come a long way but HIV is still here ... and so am I."
-- Jimmy Gale, benefits coordinator & PrEP navigator, Magnet
This excerpt was cross-posted with the permission of BETAblog.org. Read the full article.
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