World AIDS Day 2017 – Let’s End It: Stigma

World AIDS Day 2017 – Let’s End It: Stigma

from Recon News

23 November 2017

For 30 years, NAT has championed the rights of people living with HIV and campaigned for change.

Knowledge and attitudes have improved but there is still a significant minority of people who have negative attitudes towards HIV and people living with or affected by HIV. One in five people living with HIV in the UK experience verbal harassment or threats. A third report having their HIV status disclosed without consent by a friend or family member. There is also pressure at work from employers or co-workers to disclose, and reports of being treated differently by GPs. The impact of stigma is significant, resulting in feelings of shame, guilt, low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts and self-blame.

The theme for World AIDS Day 2017 is 'Let's End It.' End stigma, end HIV transmission and end the isolation experienced by people living with HIV. This post focuses on how stigma and discrimination still affects many people living with HIV, and how you can help to end it. Support for people living with HIV is higher among people with greater knowledge of HIV. We know how and what to teach people, now we need to ensure that every child in every school learns what they need to protect themselves. NAT has campaigned for LGBTQ-inclusive sex education for years, and earlier this year the Government finally made sex and relationships education compulsory for all schools. As this develops there is work to be done to ensure schools provide LGBTQ-inclusive education.

NAT work to influence law and policy, and to influence those whose actions have the biggest impact on the lives of people living with and affected by HIV in the UK. They changed the law to protect people living with HIV from discrimination, stopped employers from asking if you have HIV before you get a job, and protected you in your job. They also made sure that police and prosecutors must follow strict guidelines when responding to complaints about HIV transmission.

But there is still more to do. The laws are in place but now we must implement them and ensure we all have access to justice.

You can help support NAT's vital work and show your support by donating to NAT and adding a virtual red ribbon to your Recon profile.