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An Epidemic of Stigma and Discrimination
What is HIV and AIDS Stigma? Why is HIV and AIDS so stigmatised and whom does it affect? How does this stigma lead to discrimination and what forms can this take?
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The Impact of HIV/AIDS Stigma and Discrimination
Responding to HIV and AIDS with blame or abuse towards people living with HIV and AIDS, simply forces the epidemic underground, creating the ideal conditions for HIV to spread.
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Examples of HIV/AIDS Discrimination
It seems that for people living with HIV or those assumed to be, no area of life is untouched by stigma and no area of life is invulnerable to discrimination. This includes employment, housing, insurance, education, services, travel, immigration, family and community.
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HIV/AIDS Stigma and Discrimination: Gay Men
From the beginning of the epidemic, AIDS has been associated with male homosexuality because gay men were the first group affected by HIV in developed countries. This association has led to gay men suffering double discrimination: discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and discrimination on grounds of actual or perceived HIV status.
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HIV/AIDS Stigma and Discrimination: Racial & Ethnic Minorities
The first cases of AIDS were reported in Africa, and this continues to be the worst affected region in the world. The AIDS epidemic has played into and reinforced existing racism and xenophobia, and people from ethnic minority groups experience a double discrimination: discrimination on grounds of their race but also on the basis of their actual or perceived HIV status.
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HIV/AIDS Stigma and Discrimination: Sex Workers
Sex workers are marginalised and stigmatised because of their lifestyle and the criminal status of sex work. Many sex workers are further marginalised because of their race, their sexual orientation, their socio-economic status, as well as their potential involvement with drugs. All of those factors increase HIV and AIDS stigma, and make sex workers extremely vulnerable to HIV infection.
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HIV/AIDS Stigma and Discrimination: Injecting Drugs Users
Injecting drug use has an intimate connection with HIV, and both are highly stigmatised. Drug use is an illegal and essentially covert activity, and IDUs are seen as deviant and irresponsible. It is the connection in the public’s mind between a ‘deviant’ lifestyle; ‘promiscuity’ and HIV infection, which continues to reinforce the stigma around HIV and AIDS.
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HIV/AIDS Stigma and Discrimination: Prisoners
Prisoners face discrimination because of their status as prisoners (i.e. criminal record and incarceration), but also because of what being in prison can be associated with (drug use, same-sex activities and violence), and what it might lead to (HIV infection).
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Responding to HIV/AIDS Stigma and Discrimination
A combined response is necessary to tackle the scope, complexity and implications of HIV/AIDS stigma and discrimination. This includes education, community mobilisation and legal reform, and these responses needs to be combined in a carefully thought out and planned strategy.
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Overview of UK Anti-Discrimination Law
The current framework of UK Anti-Discrimination Law, the main problems relevant to HIV and AIDS related discrimination and options for legal reform.
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The Psychology of Prejudice
From the persecution of Jewish people during the 12th century to society’s attitude towards people with HIV and AIDS in 2002; prejudice, stigma and the ‘fear of the unknown’ have always been with us, playing a central role in dividing people, cultures and races. But what makes us prejudiced and how can we challenge it?
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Activity Alphabet: Getting Involved
The ‘ARE YOU HIV PREJUDICED?’ campaign goes public in March 2003. To help you make the most of this initiative, here are some simple, easy suggestions of things you can do to get more actively involved in the campaign.
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A Workshop Guide
A Workshop Guide for understanding Human Rights & HIV.
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Contacts
A list of key International health and/or HIV and AIDS organisations.
http://web.archive.org/web/20030604040852/http://www.areyouhivprejudiced.org/resources/index.cfm?page=media“>Read more online or Download PDF