Stigma is borne out of fear, ignorance and prejudice -- and many feel it can be overcome with openness and access to information. While legal remedies and advocacy can be used to counter discrimination, we've seen how everyday stories of stigma and discrimination have also changed lives -- including by letting others know they are not alone.
If you'd like to share your story, we invite you to contribute to the Our Stories of Stigma series or the #HIVStigmaOnBlast video project.
Missing My Mother, I Recall How Stigma Stopped Me From Telling Her My HIV Status
"My mother worked at an ASO in the early '90s when people were on AZT and dying at alarming rates," recalls Abdul-Aliy A Muhammad. "I figured that I'd be crushing her now if I said anything about my status."
As a Latino Gay Man With HIV, My Internal Shame Started at Home
To David Duran's surprise, coming out to his family as gay wasn't as difficult a process as he had anticipated. One of his eldest aunts became his biggest supporter. But sharing his HIV status felt like a different matter.
Disease-Free, Clean and What?
When a Facebook friend proudly proclaimed she is "disease-free and clean," Rev. Andrena Ingram asked "What does it mean to be disease-free? Is it something to boast about?"
A Long December, Part One
"I'm not going back into the HIV closet," vows Christian Kiley, after experiencing workplace HIV stigma. "I'm not quitting a job that combines my love for filmmaking and youth development."
More Personal Stories of HIV Stigma and Discrimination