Advertisement
The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
Read Now: TheBodyPRO.com Covers AIDS 2014
  
  • Email Email
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

International News

World Red Cross Day in Fight Against AIDS Stigma

May 9, 2003

The stigma, discrimination and marginalization surrounding HIV/AIDS was the focus of Thursday's World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, marked by promotional events to dispel myths and taboos under the slogan "The truth about AIDS. Pass it on." The Red Cross said people with HIV/AIDS may not know or are afraid to acknowledge they have the disease and governments refuse to recognize its existence, while cultural barriers and beliefs have made the issue taboo and people with AIDS are actively discriminated against.

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent sharply criticized some religious groups over their attitude toward HIV/AIDS on Thursday, charging that they were helping to fuel the stigma surrounding the disease. "Each year, more and more people die from the disease and it is the stigma and misinformation around HIV that is killing people," said Juan Manuel Suarez del Toro, President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

The Federation warned in a statement that "faith-based or other prominent organizations" that single out high-risk groups for "blame and discrimination" or condemn the use of condoms obstruct the fight against HIV/AIDS. Bernard Gardiner, of the Federation's HIV/AIDS program, said that while many religious figures were in the forefront of constructive community action, "faith-based messages get in the way of science." "What we need are clear messages for people and one is that condoms work. This message should not be muddied," explained Gardiner.

Gardiner pointed to Swaziland, where approximately 40 percent of the population has HIV/AIDS. "It is surprising in a country with a 40 percent infection rate that no one there talks about the disease. Stigma is learnt and stigma kills," said Gardiner.

Back to other CDC news for May 9, 2003

Previous Updates

Adapted from:
Agence France Presse
05.08.03



  
  • Email Email
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 

Tools
 

Advertisement