Perspectives: HIV Stigma Today
HIV/AIDS is one of the most stigmatized illnesses in recent history. The intensity and prevalence of negative beliefs, attitudes, and actions toward HIV-positive people have made HIV unique, shaping responses to the epidemic from the individual to public policy level. Although the expressions of HIV-related stigma have changed over time, it remains as one of the most stubborn and pervasive obstacles to curbing new infections.
This issue of Perspectives explores HIV-related stigma, how it has manifested over time, and how it continues to thwart efforts to prevent and treat HIV disease. It then reviews how public health addresses stigma at the policy level, and what individual counselors can do to assess for and respond to HIV stigma in the counseling session.