Monday, December 3, 2012

HIV: Learning From Stigmatization
Here is a thoughtful piece from over at PLoS on the stigma associated with various infectious diseases, especially HIV. Despite decades of research and education, discrimination still exists for people living with HIV; Gorman cites examples of people denied employment, of HIV positive inmates being isolated from other inmates and the ban on people with HIV entering the United States that was only lifted in 2009.

She poignantly notes that discrimination leads to false beliefs about disease transmission that in turn drive the stigma associated with disease. She also notes that stigmatization is a not a phenomenon isolated to HIV, but rather has been associated with many infectious diseases throughout history. Stigmas alienate people and undermine disease detection, prevention and treatment efforts.

Gorman calls for research into what drives stigmatization, with a special focus on what we can learn from history. As the emergence of new infectious diseases is a reality of human existence, learning from the stigma associated with HIV and other infectious diseases is critical.

No comments:

Post a Comment