Posts tagged: Discrimination

Living with HIV/AIDS – A Story From Ethiopia

"It is the hope that people gave me by befriending me, accepting me and letting me know, with kind words, that I too could be happy"

Looking at Sarah* today, it would be hard to imagine that she is a person living with HIV/AIDS. Her lively, bubbly outlook belies the stigmatization that most of the people living with HIV have to endure day after day. The healthy look that she now exudes belies the fear that used to come when people saw her rapid loss of weight.

People tended to talk when they saw someone lose weight drastically. Before the disease was named ‘HIV/AIDS’ by western medicine, Africa had different names that were usually variations of the rapid weight lose that ensued once patients were infected. For example, in Uganda it was called ‘Slim Disease’ and in Ethiopia it was ‘Amenminé’ (Amharic for ‘that which shrivels’). Read more »

HIV: Death by Stigma

A number of publications are suggesting that at least 25% of those living with HIV/AIDS are unaware that they are infected. In the Third World, the decision to avoid confirmation is primarily driven by the fear of being abandoned or beaten. Lack of any cure or consistent health care further diminishes incentive to seek out diagnosis. Ostracization and violence against women with HIV/AIDS are commonplace. In the largely patriarchal societies, the generally accepted thinking is that women are to blame for spread of infection. Thus, with little recourse against her husband, an infected wife lacks the incentive to draw any attention to herself. Read more »

Discrimination Against Women: The Stigma of HIV

In countries all over the world, millions of women are stigmatized and discriminated against for being HIV-positive. Data from the UN demonstrates that negative feelings apply particularly to women, as they are more likely than men to be held responsible for spreading the disease, whether or not this was the case. As a consequence, women that are HIV-positive have suffered from discrimination disproportionately more than HIV-positive men.  In recent years, there have been many documented cases of gender-based violence as HIV-positive women are disowned, assaulted, treated unfairly, and killed1.

Read more »

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