Stigma & Discrimination
From the Greek language, a Stigma is a marking. HIV can mark us (cause stigmas) in four ways related to HIV: self-stigma, public stigma, stigma by association, and structural stigma. Some people carry shame and self-doubt about their own diagnosis; others find that they face judgment and misunderstanding in a social, romantic, or sexual setting. Other times, there are real barriers to HIV-positive people going about their daily lives ranging from housing discrimination to criminalization. Positive Alliance exists to help HIV-positive gay men to move past some of these stigmas through a supportive and interactive community. If you are in need of additional support regarding stigma in your community, email us above and we will try to help you find a solution through our amazing network of friends!
Structural Stigma like discrimination and criminalization on an individual level all too often manifests itself on a societal level through criminalization. Many people with HIV have found themselves prosecuted for assault or even attempted murder due to a stubborn streak of ignorance about the condition that persists in many corners of the world.
Below are links to a few organizations seeking to combat problems related to stigma.