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Indian J Med Res. 2005 Dec;122(6):471-84.

The third phase of HIV pandemic: social consequences of HIV/AIDS stigma & discrimination & future needs.

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National AIDS Research Institute (NARI) (ICMR) , Pune, India.


An overview of social responses to AIDS, characterized by high levels of stigma, discrimination central to the global AIDS challenge, as related to human dignity is described. Stigma is conceptualized as a problem of 'they' and 'us', or interactions perspective. Causes and consequences to enable the varied perspectives in understanding this third epidemic of social impact of HIV/AIDS are described. In the absence of an effective medical intervention, the social factors like stigma and discrimination attached to HIV/AIDS are a major obstacle in the curtailment of the disease requiring urgent action. The different forms of stigma associated with other diseases are compared. Ignorance about the disease, fear of discrimination and consequent denial for testing and treatment, contribute to spread of the disease. The disease status adds to vulnerability especially in women. The disease is often identified with groups like intravenous drug users (IDUs), and homosexuals who face a double stigma as a result of HIV. Research scenario on stigma associated with HIV/AIDS is reviewed to understand the future needs. Initiatives of ongoing intervention to reduce stigma exist globally. Emerging issues in research priorities have been highlighted to counter consequences of pandemic from social perspective of human dignity and rights.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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