It is widely believed that discrimination against People with HIV/ AIDS (PLWHA) is a thing of the past. Sadly, discrimination and stigma still exist in this world and the two continue to menace People who are HIV positive. This explains the reason why the majority of people who are HIV positive do not disclose their status.
People should know that discrimination against people who are HIV positive is entirely wrong and not acceptable. Discrimination and stigma of any kind hurts so bad and the two only bring disastrous results.
If all HIV positive individuals are to hide their status, the pandemic will definitely be spreading undercover. Not everyone can stand up against discrimination and stigma.
What people who are HIV positive need are good medical and health care systems, emotional support and many other needs but discrimination and stigma are not on the list. Those that are stigmatized become silent and once they are silent there is no way they can get their needs like good medical and health care. In such a scenario, a person cannot live longer with the virus.
I strongly believe that sometimes a society that perpetuates stigma and discriminatory tendencies against HIV positive people cannot in any way develop. Discrimination negatively affects each and every sector in a society.
By virtue of being a Human Immune Virus it means it is found only in human beings and any human being can be infected. Thus, teachers, doctors, civil rights activist, business persons and any other human being can contract the virus if the person is exposed to the virus. There are several ways in which the virus is transmitted. This again is one important point that many people in the society tend to forget.
In addition, discrimination and stigma prevents people from getting tested. The two aforementioned vices bring about a certain kind of fear so much that people do not even wish to know their HIV status. This is why a lot people are losing their lives despite the fact that there are antiretroviral drugs available in hospitals and pharmacies.
It is very sad to note that a lot of people who are living with HIV around the world are stigmatized and discriminated against. Many have lost their relationships, families, jobs and employment opportunities as a result of discrimination. Some feel their reputation has been damaged and many others continuously feel insecure or unsafe as a result of stigma and discrimination.
Stigma does not only make it more difficult for people to come to terms with their HIV status, it also interferes with the attempts to fight the pandemic as well.
Ending HIV stigma and discrimination is of paramount importance and it is good to highlight the negative effects that come along with stigma and discrimination.
HIV positive people are just like everyone else they need love, care and support. So let us please provide them with the necessities they may need in whatever way we can!
While spreading true facts about HIV is the easiest way to make a big impact against HIV stigma, another way to fight this condition is for HIV-positive people to come out to the open and show that people with HIV today live with the virus, and that there is so much more in their life that can help to development their designated communities.