Discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS

Discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS or serophobia is the prejudice, fear, rejection, and stigmatization of people afflicted with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV people living with HIV/AIDS). Marginalized, at-risk groups such as members of the LGBTQ+ community, intravenous drug users, and sex workers are most vulnerable to facing HIV/AIDS discrimination. The consequences of societal stigma against PLHIV are quite severe, as HIV/AIDS discrimination actively hinders access to HIV/AIDS screening and care around the world.[1] Moreover, these negative stigmas become used against members of the LGBTQ+ community in the form of stereotypes held by physicians.[2][failed verification]

HIV/AIDS discrimination takes many forms such as blood donation restrictions on at-risk populations, compulsory HIV testing without prior consent, violations of confidentiality within healthcare settings, and targeted violence against persons living with HIV. Although disability laws within many countries prohibit HIV/AIDS discrimination in housing, employment, and access to health/social services, HIV-positive individuals around the world still experience instances of stigma and abuse.[3] Overall, pervasive HIV/AIDS discrimination leads to low turn-out for HIV counseling and testing, identity crises, isolation, loneliness, low self-esteem, and a lack of interest in containing the disease.[4] Additionally, violent acts against HIV infected individuals or people who are perceived to be infected with HIV can severely shut down the advancement of treatment in response to the progression of the disease.[5]


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