Dealing with Stigma and Discrimination
HIV stigma is the negative beliefs and attitude that one has towards people living with HIV.
Here are some few examples
- Believing that only certain groups of people like gay men, can get HIV
- Believing HIV is a disease for the promiscuous
- Feeling those who are living with HIV deserve to get it because of their choices
Discrimination is an act of treating people living with HIV differently than those without HIV.
Here are a few examples:
- A health care professional refusing to provide care or services to a person living with HIV
- Refusing casual contact like shaking hands with someone living with HIV
- Referring to a person living with HIV as a positive person
HIV stigma and discrimination can affect your emotional and mental health.
You may begin to develop a negative self-image and may fear you will be discriminated against or judged negatively if their HIV status is revealed.
Stigma can lead to feelings of shame, fear of disclosure, isolation, and despair. These feelings can keep you from getting tested and treated for HIV.
If you are experiencing stigma and discrimination, it is important to seek help and support.
You can seek help from a professional counselor here (Link)