NAT is working to reduce HIV related stigma and discrimination in the UK by:
- challenging HIV stigma and discriminatory attitudes amongst the general public through awareness raising;
- campaigning for policy and legal change, which empowers people living with and affected by HIV;
- promoting action by government, business and the community aimed at addressing discrimination through service standards, legal protections and policy reform.
In particular, NAT is working to highlight the policy and legal changes necessary to provide effective and comprehensive protection against HIV and AIDS related discrimination. This will require major reforms to UK anti-discrimination legislation, which will best be achieved through the creation of a Single Equality Act.
At the moment, anti-discrimination legislation addresses race, disability and gender in three different Acts. Unfortunately, the Acts lack coherence in the protection afforded on those different grounds. The complexity and inconsistencies of UK discrimination law are likely to be further complicated by current Government plans to implement the EC Employment Directive prohibiting discrimination in employment and training on the grounds of religion and belief, age and sexual orientation via regulations.
One of the main problems of UK anti-discrimination law, which is especially relevant to HIV and AIDS related discrimination, stems from the complex current system of statutes which make it extremely difficult to challenge discrimination of multiple grounds. The existing gaps in UK anti-discrimination law are particularly disadvantageous for people living with and affected by HIV due to the inextricable association of HIV stigma and discrimination with race- and sexuality-based prejudice.
In order to overcome the shortcomings of the law in relation to discrimination on grounds of HIV and AIDS, the relationship, both real and perceived, between race, sexuality and HIV status must be acknowledged and dealt with. The most effective way of preventing HIV and AIDS related discrimination and providing redress when it occurs, is to adopt a Single Equality Act which will tackle the complexity and multi-dimensional nature of HIV and AIDS related discrimination.
NAT’S PUBLIC AWARENESS CAMPAIGN
ARE YOU HIV PREJUDICED? is England’s first national public awareness campaign aimed at challenging the stigma and prejudice associated with HIV and the discrimination that people living with HIV can experience.
Funded by the Department of Health, and developed by NAT with the help of Saatchi & Saatchi, advertising has appeared in national press, on commercial radio, MTV and on-line. Click here to view our campaign materials.
With funding from the Levi Strauss Foundation, resource materials have been produced and distributed to community based organisations, clinics and other heath and social care providers. These are aimed at enhancing understanding and addressing some of the root causes of HIV stigma and discrimination: Ignorance, misinformation, prejudice, and inadequate legislation. Click here to read and download these fact sheets.
So. ARE YOU HIV PREJUDICED?
By ending ignorance, we’ll end prejudice.