What is HIV stigma and how does it affect people?


What is HIV stigma?

HIV stigma is the shame or disgrace associated with HIV. People living with HIV are blamed for getting the disease and are punished by exclusion, isolation, prejudice, and discrimination.


How does it affect people?

Shame and fear of being judged by others prevents people from getting tested. The stigma is so powerful that people avoid talking about it, which feeds the fear of shame and disgrace.

How does it affect culture?

HIV Stigma exists in many social and cultural settings that include the workplace, family, community, and in relationships. Along with it comes discrimination, prejudice, fear, and other barriers that negatively impacts the community.

HIV stigma is a cycle created by people.

It is based on perceptions of those with HIV and how people react to it. It can be devastating to peoples’ mental and physical health but can be stopped at any point in the cycle.
This text can touch on the cycle diagram and how everything’s connected in the graphic. Text can explain how graphic relates to real scenario or situation and offer some types of solutions. This text explains the cycle and leads user to read real life stories at the end.
Here are some personal stories of how people were negatively affected by HIV stigma, which include everyday settings such as the workplace, community, family, and health care environments.

Read stories of stigma


HIV stigma has a direct connection to how many people are living with HIV

A&PIs are afraid to get tested for fear of rejection by family and community. Getting tested might expose a secret, such as sexuality or drug use, both heavily stigmatized in the A&PI community.

HIV-related stigma increases HIV risk. The intense fear and shame associated with HIV can lead to depression and isolation, often cause people to engage in unsafe behaviors.

Why is HIV rising in A&PI communities? A&PIs have the lowest HIV testing rates of all races and ethnicities. Nearly two-thirds of Asian Americans have never been tested for HIV. They have the highest rate in increase in HIV infections. During the same time period the rate of HIV infection declined for all other racial and ethnic groups

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