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AIDS Care. 2001 Aug;13(4):441-56.

Promoting the positive: responses to stigma and discrimination in Southeast Asia.

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Programme Officer, Population Council, Bangkok, Thailand.


Pervasive stigma has surrounded HIV/AIDS since the beginning of the pandemic. In Southeast Asia, as elsewhere, it has been accompanied by discrimination, affecting transmission patterns and access to care and support. Beginning with definitions of stigma and discrimination as they relate to HIV/AIDS, this paper outlines the contexts of discrimination experienced in the region and reviews local community-based interventions that have worked to reduce negative attitudes. The evidence presented comes primarily from unpublished literature and anecdotal evidence gained through interviews with project staff throughout the region. Although the activities represent initiatives in a number of countries and contexts of discrimination, they nonetheless share certain components which are highlighted. What these characteristics have in common is an emphasis on process, indicating that reducing community-level discrimination can be integrated into any approach to HIV/AIDS.

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