HIV-related stigma and discrimination refers to prejudice, negative attitudes, abuse and maltreatment directed at people living with HIV. They can result in being shunned by family, peers and the wider community; poor treatment in healthcare and education settings; an erosion of rights; psychological damage; and can negatively affect the success of HIV testing and treatment.
Stigma and discrimination exist worldwide, although they manifest themselves differently across countries, communities, religious groups and individuals. They occur alongside other forms of stigma and discrimination, such as racism, homophobia or misogyny and can be directed towards those involved in what are considered socially unacceptable activities.
Stigma not only makes it more difficult for people trying to come to terms with HIV and manage their illness on a personal level, but it also can make individuals reluctant to access HIV testing, treatment and care.
If you would like more information on Stigma, or would like to talk to our BME worker, please call our office on 0800 075 1 057.