Editorial: Global action to reduce HIV stigma and discrimination

Cynthia I Grossman, Anne L Stangl
Journal of the International AIDS Society 2013, 16 (3): 18881
There is no question that the stigma and discrimination associated with HIV and AIDS can be reduced through intervention. The inclusion of stigma and discrimination reduction as a critical component of achieving an AIDS-free generation in recent UNAIDS, UN and PEPFAR political initiatives is promising. Yet national governments need evidence on effective interventions at the individual, community and societal levels in order to strategically incorporate stigma and discrimination reduction into national AIDS plans. Currently, the heterogeneity of stigma and discrimination reduction approaches and measurement makes it challenging to compare and contrast evaluated interventions. Moving forward, it is critical for the research community to: (1) clearly link intervention activities to the domains of stigma to be shifted; (2) assess the stigma domains in a consistent manner; and (3) link stigma and discrimination reduction with HIV prevention, care and treatment outcomes (e.g., uptake, adherence and retention of ART). These steps would further advance the scientific evidence base of stigma and discrimination reduction and allow for the identification of effective interventions that could be scaled up by national governments.

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