Dealing With HIV Stigma and Discrimination
September 10, 2018
What Is HIV Stigma?
HIV-related stigma refer to negative beliefs, feelings and attitudes towards people living with HIV, their families, people who work with them (HIV service providers), and members of groups that have been heavily impacted by HIV, such as gay and bisexual men, homeless people, street youth, and mentally ill people.
What Is HIV Discrimination?
HIV discrimination refers to the unfair and unjust treatment of someone based on their real or perceived HIV status. Discrimination can also affect family and friends, and those who care for people with HIV. HIV discrimination is often fueled by myths of casual transmission of HIV and pre-existing biases against certain groups, certain sexual behaviors, drug use, and fear of illness and death. Discrimination can be institutionalized through laws, policies, and practices.
What Support Services Are Available for Someone With HIV?
Know your rights. You are entitled to the same rights as any other patient in the medical system. These rights include safety, competent medical care, and confidentiality.
CDC's Act Against AIDS Campaign HIV Treatment Works features people with HIV and their stories, including some testimonials about dealing with stigma. The Act Against AIDS Campaign Let's Stop HIV Together has additional information on stigma for persons with HIV.
[Note from TheBody: This article was created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who last updated it on Aug. 27, 2018. We have cross-posted it with their permission.]
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