Poster number 120
Stigma limits the effectiveness of the HIV response and has a significant impact on access to healthcare services at all stages of the HIV prevention, treatment, care and support continuum. Elimination of stigma is critical for removing personal and structural barriers for all clients, particularly adolescents and young people living with HIV (AYPLHIV) and other marginalized groups who frequently face or experience increased and compounded stigma, whether internalized or externalized, in community or healthcare settings.
HIV-related stigma includes a range of stigmatizing experiences, such as
- avoidance behaviours
- gossip, verbal abuse
- social rejection
Discrimination can include these behaviours, but also affect the enjoyment of rights, and can lead to physical abuse, denial of health or social services, denial or loss of employment or education opportunities or even arrest. It can also be enshrined in criminal laws, travel restrictions, mandatory testing and employment restrictions. People may experience intersectional discrimination or stigma on several grounds, including race, disability and socioeconomic status (UNAIDS).