Addressing Stigma Key in Fight Against HIV/AIDS, U.N. Secretary-General Writes
August 6, 2008
Although a recent UNAIDS report shows "encouraging progress in preventing HIV in a number of the most vulnerable countries," one "of the biggest hurdles for our global response to AIDS" is "the stigma factor," United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon writes in a Washington Times opinion piece. Ban continues, "Stigma remains the single most important barrier to public action," and it "helps make AIDS the silent killer, because people fear the social disgrace of speaking about it or taking easily available precautions." He writes, "Stigma is a chief reason the AIDS epidemic continues to devastate societies around the world."
"Fortunately, more and more people are finding their voices," Ban writes, adding that HIV-positive people who work to fight stigma are "at the heart of the global campaign against AIDS. It is impossible not to admire their courage and commitment. Yet their efforts, alone, are not enough."
Ban concludes, "Above all, we must recognize that those who bear the stigma of HIV should not be those who live with the disease. It is those who allow it" (Ban, Washington Times, 8/6).
Kaisernetwork.org is the official webcaster of the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City. Click here to sign up for your Daily Update e-mail during the conference. A webcast of the opening ceremony during which Ban spoke also is available online.
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.