The Continuing Relevance of Stigma and Discrimination
"Because an estimated 500,000 people with HIV are not in regular care and an estimated 1 in 4 people with HIV do not know that they have HIV, there are forceful and compelling arguments for HIV policy change on the federal and state levels. With its revised recommendations for HIV testing in health care settings, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rightfully seeks to expand testing in the U.S. As health care providers, government entities and others consider whether and how to implement the CDC's revised recommendations, they should consider the persistence of HIV stigma and discrimination. Although HIV stigma should not prevent the expansion of testing efforts, stigma is a significant factor that must be considered in any HIV policymaking. Contrary to some recent assertions, the social risks of HIV diagnosis are still multiple and significant. Because HIV stigma and discrimination continue to have a forceful impact on people with HIV, policymakers must consider how stigma impacts any intervention and how any intervention promotes or attacks stigma...."