Zero HIV Stigma Day
Zero HIV Stigma Day is a global movement uniting people and communities to raise awareness of HIV and take action to eliminate HIV stigma in all its forms.
HIV stigma refers to the negative attitudes, beliefs, and discrimination that people living with and affected by HIV may experience due to their status. It involves social disproval, prejudice, marginalisation and stereotypes associated with HIV.
Both HIV stigma and discrimination have detrimental impacts on individuals and communities affected by HIV, by reinforcing social injustices and hindering access to prevention, testing, care and other necessary resources.
HIV Stigma costs lives
HIV stigma is fuelled by misconception and causes personal and public detriment including social exclusion, loss of employment, housing insecurity, health inequalities, and strained relationships. HIV stigma creates a barrier to prevention, treatment and care.
People living with and affected by HIV often face stigma, which takes different forms including self-inflicted, interpersonal, institutional, and societal stigma which creates multiple barriers to achieving positive health outcomes.
End HIV Stigma now
The end of AIDS as a public health threat is near if we collectively take action to educate about prevention, treatment and care while shifting perception to end HIV stigma.
We have the tools and we must collectively work to create a world that supports people living with and affected by HIV that fosters community resilience and empowerment.
By ending HIV stigma we will:
- Reduce fear of disclosure and social isolation, and allow people to live more openly and as their authentic selves
- Drive demand for HIV testing, leading to earlier diagnosis, and timely access to HIV treatment, care, social services leading to U=U
- Enable open conversations about HIV, promoting accurate information about transmission and prevention, and encouraging individuals to adopt preventative measures such as PrEP, and harm reduction strategies
- Drive equity in access to healthcare, prevention, and treatment for all individuals, regardless of their HIV status