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AIDS. 2008 Aug;22 Suppl 2:S67-79. doi: 10.1097/01.aids.0000327438.13291.62.

Stigma in the HIV/AIDS epidemic: a review of the literature and recommendations for the way forward.

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UCLA Program in Global Health, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90024, USA.


Although stigma is considered a major barrier to effective responses to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, stigma reduction efforts are relegated to the bottom of AIDS programme priorities. The complexity of HIV/AIDS-related stigma is often cited as a primary reason for the limited response to this pervasive phenomenon. In this paper, we systematically review the scientific literature on HIV/AIDS-related stigma to document the current state of research, identify gaps in the available evidence and highlight promising strategies to address stigma. We focus on the following key challenges: defining, measuring and reducing HIV/AIDS-related stigma as well as assessing the impact of stigma on the effectiveness of HIV prevention and treatment programmes. Based on the literature, we conclude by offering a set of recommendations that may represent important next steps in a multifaceted response to stigma in the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

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