The ongoing HIV epidemic
Arthur Amman talks about two distinct but related issues—the stigma that still surrounds HIV and the orphans left behind by the disease
- By: Arthur Ammann
Two articles by Bryony Whipp (p470) and Mirza Muminovic (p471) discuss distinct but related issues in the global epidemic of HIV and AIDS: stigma and orphans. The former is persistent and tenaciously resistant to change. The latter is pervasive and steadily increasing.
Sexually transmitted diseases have existed for centuries, but the stigma associated with HIV infection is much greater. Whipp explores many of the reasons for the persistence of stigma including the medias focus on developing countries while ignoring national issues of HIV and AIDS; the association of HIV infection with homosexuality, intravenous drug use, poverty, immigration, and asylum seekers; and the hidden discrimination that exists within healthcare systems and employment.
Over the past 20 years, there has been progress in reducing stigma by means of education and legislation. In addition, advocacy and activism in developed countries have achieved significant gains in directing research priorities, funding for HIV and AIDS