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April 26th, 2019

Join Planned Parenthood in the fight to end HIV/AIDS stigma

type:Donation, NGO
by:Yair Oded

In 2017, an estimated 36.9 million people lived with HIV globally, including 1.8 million children.

And while in certain communities across the Western world available HIV prevention and treatment services help to curb the pandemic, the virus still wreaks havoc on populations around the world – particularly in low income and highly conservative countries and regions.

One of the main obstacles to fight against HIV/AIDS is the pervasive stigma around the virus and its carriers. In many countries and communities, the disease is associated with drug addiction, prostitution, and homosexuality – all of which are viewed as morally corrupt.

Regardless of the transmission method, however, individuals living with the virus face abhorrent discrimination in areas ranging from travel, employment, and education to treatment and healthcare.

Such stigmas do not only inflict undue pain and suffering upon HIV positive individuals, but also exacerbate the spread of the virus by discouraging people from familiarizing themselves with prevention methods and getting tested.

On this year’s World AIDS Day, Planned Parenthood launched their #LetsEndStigma campaign, which seeks to promote awareness of HIV/AIDS around the U.S. and across the globe. The campaign expands on Planned Parenthood’s ongoing effort to disseminate education around the virus and halt its spreading through increased knowledge as opposed to fear.

On their campaign website, Planned Parenthood state, “We provide access to prevention education, tools that reduce transmission, HIV testing, and links to care. And we use mobile technologies to educate underserved communities so that all people living with or affected by HIV can live long and happy lives, no matter where they live.”

It may take a while for some governments and institutions across the globe to abandon discriminatory HIV policies and provide quality prevention, testing, and care services. Yet the best way to expedite such institutional change would be to first educate communities and individuals about the reality of the virus.

Dispelling stigma on the local levels will eventually reverberate to the halls of power.

Please visit Planned Parenthood’s #LetsEndStigma page to learn about ways in which you can support their campaign and help spread their message.

Image credit: Planned Parenthood website. 

plannedparenthood.org