Experiencing stigma

STIGMA is an attitude, a process of devaluation that can be for a whole range of reasons including HIV status. Someone may also experience stigma for other reasons such as race, sexual orientation, weight, age and or gender. Stigma originates from a Greek word meaning mark or blemish.

Many people would rather live in denial than find out that they are HIV positive so they avoid taking a test. This is usually because they are afraid of how they will be treated by people around them if the test result is positive.

  • Should I tell anyone?
  • If so, who?
  • How will they react?
  • Do I know enough to educate them about it after Iíve told them?
  • Where do I get help?
  • How do I get treatment and support?

Watch these people living with HIV talk about their different experiences of STIGMA. As you watch, try to identify the key points and make a note of them in the text box provided. Print out your results as they will be of use in later tasks.