General Article What is stigma?

Topic Selected: AIDS & HIV
This article is 9 years old. Click here to view the latest articles for this topic.

AIDS-related stigma and discrimination means prejudice, negative attitudes, abuse and maltreatment directed at people living with HIV and AIDS. Many people with HIV and AIDS are shunned by family, friends and community. They are treated poorly at the hospital and school. Even at places of worship, worshippers refuse to sit by them.

Stigma towards people living with HIV is very wrong. This is because not everyone had the virus from wrong behaviour. If even they did, we are all human and we all make mistakes. We therefore have to accept them and love them, BUT take care not to engage in any risky behaviour with them.

Factors that contribute to HIV/AIDS-related stigma include:

  • HIV/AIDS is a life-threatening disease, and therefore people fear to relate to it.
  • HIV infection is associated with behaviours such as homosexuality, drug addiction, prostitution or promiscuity, that are already unaccepted in many societies.
  • There is a lot of inaccurate information about how HIV is transmi...

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