Aids/Hiv Essays

Aids/Hiv Essays-46
20 In 2015, WHO released new treatment guidelines that reflect the need to address stigma and discrimination as a barrier to accessing HIV treatment.21 HIV and AIDS-related stigma can lead to discrimination, for example, when people living with HIV are prohibited from travelling, using healthcare facilities or seeking employment.Self-stigma, or internalised stigma, has an equally damaging effect on the mental wellbeing of people living with HIV or from key affected populations.Alternatively, people living with HIV may face deportation to a country where they would be subject to even further discrimination - a practice that could contravene international human rights law.41 Healthcare professionals can medically assist someone infected or affected by HIV, and also provide life-saving information on how to prevent it.42However, HIV-related discrimination in healthcare remains an issue and is particularly prevalent in some countries.

20 In 2015, WHO released new treatment guidelines that reflect the need to address stigma and discrimination as a barrier to accessing HIV treatment.21 HIV and AIDS-related stigma can lead to discrimination, for example, when people living with HIV are prohibited from travelling, using healthcare facilities or seeking employment.Self-stigma, or internalised stigma, has an equally damaging effect on the mental wellbeing of people living with HIV or from key affected populations.

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Explore this page to find out why stigma around HIV and AIDS exists, how stigma affects people living with HIV, how stigma affects key populations, how stigma affects the HIV response, forms of HIV stigma and discrimination, and ending HIV stigma and discrimination.

HIV-related stigma and discrimination refers to prejudice, negative attitudes and abuse directed at people living with HIV and AIDS.

Moreover, transgender people are 49 times more likely and prisoners are five times more likely to be living with HIV than adults in the general population.15 UNAIDS and the World Health Organization (WHO) cites fear of stigma and discrimination as the main reason why people are reluctant to get tested, disclose their HIV status and take antiretroviral drugs (ARVs).16 One study found that participants who reported high levels of stigma were over four times more likely to report poor access to care.17 This contributes to the expansion of the global HIV epidemic and a higher number of AIDS-related deaths.

An unwillingness to take an HIV test means that more people are diagnosed late, when the virus may have already progressed to AIDS.

The majority of participants (61%) reported a reduction in self-stigma, depression (78%) and fears around disclosure (52%), and increased feelings of satisfaction (52%) and daily activity (70%).24 Evidence suggests people from key affected populations are also disproportionally affected by self-stigma.

For example, a study of men in China who have sex with men found that depression experienced by participants due to feelings of self stigma around homosexuality directly affected HIV testing uptake.25 Similarly, a study of men in Tijuana, Mexico who have sex with men found that self-stigma was strongly associated with never having tested for HIV, while testing for HIV was associated with identifying as being homosexual or gay and being more ‘out’ about having sex with men.26 In countries that are hostile to men who have sex with men and other key populations, innovative strategies are needed to engage individuals in HIV testing and care programmes without exacerbating experiences of stigma and discrimination. 27 A country’s discriminatory laws, rules and policies regarding HIV can alienate and exclude people living with HIV, reinforcing the stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS.This hinders, in no small way, efforts at stemming the epidemic.It complicates decisions about testing, disclosure of status, and ability to negotiate prevention behaviours, including use of family planning services.Health providers may minimise contact with, or care of, patients living with HIV, delay or deny treatment, demand additional payment for services and isolate people living with HIV from other patients.43 For women living with HIV, denial of sexual and reproductive health and rights services can be devastating.For example, 37.7% of women living with HIV surveyed in 2012 in a six-country study in the Asia–Pacific region reported being subjected to involuntary sterilisation.44 Healthcare workers may violate a patient’s privacy and confidentiality, including disclosure of a person’s HIV status to family members or hospital employees without authorisation.45 Studies by WHO in India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand found that 34% of respondents reported breaches of confidentiality by health workers.46 People from key affected populations may face additional discrimination in healthcare settings.This makes treatment less effective, increasing the likelihood of transmitting HIV to others, and causing early death.For example, in the United Kingdom (UK), many people who are diagnosed with HIV are diagnosed at a late stage of infection, defined as a CD4 count under 350 within three months of diagnosis.In 35% of countries with available data, over 50% of people report having discriminatory attitudes towards people living with HIV.1 Stigma and discrimination also makes people vulnerable to HIV.Those most at risk to HIV (key affected populations) continue to face stigma and discrimination based on their actual or perceived health status, race, socioeconomic status, age, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity or other grounds.2 Stigma and discrimination manifests itself in many ways.It was seen as a major step forward for the rights of people living with HIV.38 As of September 2015, 35 countries have laws that restrict the entry, stay and residence of people living with HIV.In 2015, Lithuania became the most recent country to remove such restrictions.39 As of 2015, 17 countries will deport individuals once their HIV positive status is discovered, five have a complete entry ban on people living with HIV and four require a person to be able to prove they are HIV negative before being granted entry.40 Deportation of people living with HIV has potentially life-threatening consequences if they have been taking HIV treatment and are deported to a country that has limited treatment provision.

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