HIV stigma and discrimination adversely affect every aspect of life for people living with HIV and their families. In many settings, an HIV diagnosis still can be as devastating as the illness itself, violence, social ostracism, loss of property, and denial of health services and emotional support. People living in fear are less likely to adopt preventive behavior, go for testing, disclose their status to others, access care and adhere to treatment.
Reducing stigma and discrimination can dramatically improve the lives of people affected by HIV. With more than 34 million people living with the virus and an estimated 2.6 million new infections in 2010, the need for intensified action has never been greater.
What are your thoughts on the issue of HIV stigma and discrimination?