Bit by Bit: Breaking down HIV Stigma

Posted on: 20th August 2013

Last week it was announced that a the ban preventing people living with HIV from performing certain medical procedures was lifted.

This is a fantastic development and helps reduce an element of the stigma people who are living with HIV face on a daily basis. This stigma has developed for many different reasons, the largest of which is fear. That fear when looked at across society has left us with policies which reflect our understanding of HIV in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

It is important to note that HIV treatment has come a long way in the last 30 years and people who are living with HIV can live long and fulfilling lives.

Body & Soul’s research has told us that even with all the information available, some people are having a hard time turning their knowledge around HIV into actions that actually address that stigma and fear.

Life in my Shoes was started to address this stigma, specifically amongst young people, but increasingly amongst adults and in the work place.

Decisions like the one made last week go a long way to helping improve the lives of people living with HIV. Helping people understand and discuss HIV in the open will help our society recognise that we can help ensure that HIV – and our response to it - does not have to ruin a person’s life.

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