People living with HIV suffer more discrimination than the disease itself
The way society deals with HIV lags behind medical developments: some dentists don’t treat infected people. There are also problems at work. This is evidenced by a survey among sufferers, for whom the disease itself is often not a burden.
NSAccording to a study, people with HIV experience the same disease with less prejudice and discrimination. On the basis of two questionnaires, German Aid (DAH) and the Jena Institute for Democracy and Civil Society (IDZ) published an interview study in Berlin on Friday.
Then 90 percent of those asked answered in the affirmative that they could live well with HIV infection. Three-quarters of those interviewed reported little or no poor health thanks to good treatment options.
At the same time, nearly all respondents (95 percent) reported at least one discriminatory experience in the past 12 months due to human immunodeficiency virus. About half (52 percent) said they were affected by bias about HIV infection in life.
to study with Positive Voices 2.0 title 450 people with HIV were interviewed in person between May 2020 and January of this year and 935 people living with HIV were interviewed online between June and October 2020. It has also become clear that discrimination is still particularly prevalent in the health sector.
According to the information, 56 percent of online participants had at least one negative experience in the past 12 months. 16 percent reported having been denied dental care at least once. Eight percent did so with public health services.
“Today, people living with HIV can live, love and work like no one else,” explained Matthias Kosky, project coordinator at DAH, when presenting the results of the study. For many, the social consequences are more serious than the health consequences of HIV infection: “Social development is slower than medical development.”
Treating people with HIV differently from others is completely unnecessary and clearly discriminatory. “The usual hygiene procedures are quite sufficient. In any case, HIV can no longer be transmitted under treatment,” says Kuske.
One consequence of stigmatization is that those affected hide their injury in many areas of life, such as work. This also led to respondents feeling guilt and shame about being HIV positive. However, other survey participants also said that over time it became easier to detect their HIV status.
Aidshilfe’s demands include, among other things, an adequate presentation of life with HIV in the media and data protection and privacy in the health care system. Social psychologist Janine Dickman, director of the science project at IDZ, explained: “Our study clearly shows that HIV is still associated with stigma in our society.”