From Awareness to Knowledge: Scaling Up Interactive Channels of Communication for HIV Prevention and Stigma Reduction in Uttar Pradesh
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Stigma is a common human reaction to disease.1 It is heightened in the context of diseases about which people have little or incomplete knowledge and leads to discrimination. In the case of HIV and AIDS, the association with sex and sexuality further complicates the situation, especially in a society, such as India, where sex is a taboo topic. The fear of stigma deters men and women from seeking testing, treatment, and care services. This negatively affects HIV prevention efforts, in addition to causing human misery.
A primary and essential step toward preventing the spread of HIV and reducing stigma and discrimination is to promote comprehensive knowledge about HIV and AIDS. The 2005/06 National Family Health Survey, Phase 3 (NFHS-3), defines the key components of comprehensive knowledge as: 1) knowing that both condom use and limiting sex partners to one uninfected faithful partner are HIV prevention methods; 2) being aware that HIV status cannot be determined based on a person's appearance; and 3) rejecting the two most common misconceptions about HIV transmission in India—that HIV can be transmitted through mosquito bites and by sharing food.
|Document Type:||Policy Briefs|
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|Keywords:||S&D or Human Rights, PLHIV, GIPA, HIV/AIDS|