HIV-related stigma and discrimination persist as major obstacles to an effective HIV response at all levels. These barriers may derive from deeply set cultural and religious views of sin, gender roles, or the causes and means of preventing illness. Stigma creates false differences between people. It points out, or creates differences based on, arbitrary judgments and results in "us-and-them" type of thinking.
Everywhere in the world, people living with HIV and AIDS (PLHIV) are seriously stigmatized and discriminated against. Much HIV & AIDS related stigma builds upon reinforces earlier negative thoughts about the infected and the infection. Several factors may contribute to HIV/AIDS related stigma; HIV & AIDS is a life threatening disease, People are scared of contracting the virus or dying, The disease is linked with certain behaviour such as having sex, PLHIV are often thought to be immoral and should be held responsible for being infected.Some religious or moral beliefs that makes people believe that the AIDS disease is the results of moral fault that deserves to be punished.
Stopping HIV- related stigma will take a huge efforts from everyone. The starting point is to change ourselves-the way we think, talk and acts towards PLHIV Aand KPs. We first need to change our own attitudes-the way we feel towards PLHIV and KPs.
HIV and AIDS related Stigma and Discrimination is universal, but its form varies from one country to another. Specific groups targeted for HIV Stigma vary considerably.
WAPCAS has a desk dedicated to addressing all forms of Stigma and discrimantion against KPs and this is been led by a Human Rights Lawyer with support from a team of bro-bono lawyers scartted across the country.