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Slide1: 

HIV/AIDS Stigma and Discrimination in Viet Nam Lifting the Burden of Secrecy

What is Stigma?: 

What is Stigma? Stigma significantly discredits a person in the eyes of others It is often arbitrary It is a process that builds on and reinforces existing negative views and beliefs about a group HIV/AIDS stigma has many roots, most commonly the association with marginalized people such as sex workers and drug injectors Self Stigma When a person internalizes shame Felt Stigma Feeling that others see you differently Enacted Stigma Discrimination and unfair treatment

WHY DO WE NEED TO CONSIDER STIGMA AND DISCRIMINATION IN HIV/AIDS?: 

WHY DO WE NEED TO CONSIDER STIGMA AND DISCRIMINATION IN HIV/AIDS? It infects everything, it is no longer possible to see it as only an attitude problem It is the cause of discrimination and human rights abuses it accelerates physical and psychological illness and it undermines the impact and effectiveness of HIV/AIDS education and prevention activities

THE IMPACT OF STIGMA AND DISCRIMINATION: 

THE IMPACT OF STIGMA AND DISCRIMINATION Personal: People lose jobs. Families and communities reject people, children are denied schooling, health workers refuse to treat people....resulting in isolation and fear Public Health: because of fear of stigma people are reluctant to come forward to access services, therefore care and support as well as prevention activities miss the most important groups. In addition, because only certain groups are associated with the stigma of AIDS there is a false sense of security among the general population who do not consider themselves at risk of contracting HIV.

In Viet Nam recent research shows that the stigma of HIV/AIDS is closely associated with drug use and sex work : 

In Viet Nam recent research shows that the stigma of HIV/AIDS is closely associated with drug use and sex work HIV/AIDS stigma stems largely from the fear of casual transmission of HIV, the linkages made in people’s minds between HIV, injection drug use, sex work and ‘social evils’, the media plays an important role in perpetuating stigma by conveying negative and often inaccurate messages about HIV, how it is transmitted, the risks to the public and about the nature of the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS.

Slide6: 

People living with HIV/AIDS have been; refused employment, and sacked from work; children have been refused schooling; families and communities have shunned people; health care workers have refused to treat people; there are reports of some people committing suicide because they cannot bear the prejudice and hostile reactions of others.

Slide7: 

One Woman’s Story I gave an interview to the media, they promised me it would be confidential. I said “I am a PLWHA, I was an IDU. In the process of addiction, I had no money that’s why I became a prostitute and then I was HIV infected. So, I have advice for everybody who wants safe sexual intercourse, it is imperative to use a condom. I want to advise everyone who practises high-risk behaviours, try to protect and take care of yourself, your family, and society. For those who have been HIV infected, let’s study, and know about HIV/AIDS in order to be responsible and willing to share information on HIV prevention with others” “That was the content of the interview. Before the filming I requested anominity to and the TV reporter agreed. Later I was watching TV and I saw that I was shown on the screen, my face was clearly seen. And from then on, every family member, friend, neighbour, and relative who had watched television knew of my HIV infection. After that I was kept away from my very family and friends. I felt very isolated. So I was sad and dissatisfied, and followed the old trail. I was sad, very sad..”.

Other true stories: 

Other true stories One man who found out that he, his wife and child were all HIV positive, used poison to kill his whole family because he could not bear the shame (stigma). One large factory, which had been active in HIV prevention tested the employees and found that some were positive, they asked the workers to stay home, later they forced the workers to resign. The family of one female PLWHA was asked by the hospice to look after her during the last period of her illness. Her family, which runs a restaurant business, refused to accept her because they felt they would be stigmatized and lose customers, so they sent her back to the hospice to die

Images of HIV/AIDS in Viet Nam: 

Images of HIV/AIDS in Viet Nam These chidren are all HIV positive. They are able to attend school because of the care and committment of the teacher. Even so, they are not allowed to go to school with other children. This is a roadside poster. The image of death reinforces the negative views of HIV and people living with HIV/AIDS.

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People with HIV/AIDS in Viet Nam are young and many are healthy. They have a strong desire to be active and live fufilling lives.

The framework of a response to stigma and discrimination: 

The framework of a response to stigma and discrimination Law and policy reform needs to be harnessed to community action to help support shifts in values and beliefs that are at the root of stigma and discrimination We need to work with the communities and people affected to release their knowledge and experience We must address the roots of stigma, particularly fears about illness, death, sexuality and drug use

Slide12: 

Mobilize and support positive people Encourage and support The Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV/IDS in HIV/AIDS activities Work with religious groups Work with media Promote and encourage political leadership on the issue The framework of a response to stigma and discrimination

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