Posts tagged: Stigma

Vitalwave™ – An Overview

Vitalwave™ is the application of photodisinfection to the birth canal. It is a therapy currently under development by OrGenX Biopharma Corporation and Ondine Biomedical Inc. for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV. More than 90% of HIV infections in children are caused by mother-to-child transmission. This is the equivalent of 1,600 children becoming infected with HIV every day, or one child every minute1, affecting 1 out of every 4 babies born. Vitalwave™ is intended to bypass the stigma associated with AIDS, and designed to be safe, instantly effective and inexpensive to allow for universal deployment in resource-poor counties.

It is estimated that 13-38% of all pregnant women in South Africa are HIV positive1. Current estimates indicate that 90% of HIV-positive women in resource-poor settings do not have access to antiretroviral (ARV) medication on a regular basis and often reject treatment due to fear of the stigma-related threats of violence and abandonment. In the absence of ARV treatment, a pregnant woman has a 14-42% chance of passing HIV on to their child during labour and delivery2. A higher HIV vaginal viral load in the mother is associated with an increased risk of transmission to their unborn child. Vitalwave™ is currently being designed to safely and immediately reduce the HIV vaginal viral load to low levels.

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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.

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