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HIV related stigma Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Dennis Nyakundi Onguti, Kenya Apr 13, 2007
Health   Opinions


5 The view of HIV/AIDS as a disease of the other.
Sometimes it is extreme hard to imagine that one could be infected or a partner or close person. Most often, the disease is seen as of the other and never me. This attitude linked with the self-righteousness and judgment of others, makes the condemnation of the infected as irresponsible and therefore discriminated. Mostly we hear stories of those infected with the words “I never thought it could be me!” “I never imagined that I could be infected!” or “I thought AIDS was out there for others but not me!”

a) Legislative Stigma
In some societies, legislation has included compulsory screening and testing for HIV/AIDS status. Those to be screened are categorised as the “risk groups” who place the public health at risk and those found to be HIV-positive their international travelling and migrations are at least limited if not completely barred.
On an extreme, coercive measures such as quarantining of HIV-infected persons, universal mandatory testing, and laws make it a crime for people with HIV/AIDS to have sex and mandatory identification cards are reinforced
Lack of proper legislation's also gives room for stigma and discrimination against people living with the HIV/AIDS (PLWHA, from now on i will be using this abbreviation to mean People Living With HIV/AIDS). In situations where the employers have the absolute right to establish their criteria of employment without any government policies, have openly refused employment opportunities for PLWHA. The following reaction says for the situations of discrimination that the PLWHA have to face in their daily lives.
One day i had a chat with a Human Resource manager of a company and this issue of HIV/AIDS came up and his response says a lot. "Though we don’t have a policy so far, I can say that if at the time of recruitment there is a person with HIV, I will not take him. I will certainly not buy a problem for the company." This shows that for the fight against HIV related stigma to succeed, oppressive legislation's and lack of clear legislation must give way.
b) Denial of social amenities and opportunities.
It is common that PLWHA are denied health and education facilities because of their health status. In some extreme cases, a person may be refused an admission into the hospital but most often, they are admitted but treated discriminate by being denied appropriate food, medicine, or nursing care. In the health care abuses have also been evident in testing a patient without his/her consent and sometimes lack of confidentiality.
Discrimination against children living with HIV in the education institutions is clear. Educational benefits are denied, school administration refuses to admit children infected or parents of other children have withdrawn their own children on realization that an HIV positive child has been admitted into the same school.
Other ways include employers whose industries have health benefits like employee-sponsored insurance schemes providing medical care and pensions for workers have denied employment opportunities or refused to provide this insurance coverage for employees living with HIV/AIDS. It has been seen that some property owners have refused to rent to PLWHA or forcefully evicted them and parents with HIV/AIDS have faced legal battle concerning child custody and visitation rights. While in the religious circles, some groups have denied HIV positive people from getting married. In other places some pastors have refused to accord a Christian burial to the persons who have died of AIDS let alone the spiritual care they deserve.
c) Violence.
Violence is experienced by PLWHA or suspected to be infected in different ways. It covers the harassment, both verbal and physical often motivated by the need to blame and punish the victim. They are constantly reminded of their deviant behaviour which may or may not be the cause of the infection. This is common in social groups, churches and even in the street preaching. Sometimes PLWHA have experienced unwarranted demotions, dismissals, harassment in places of work and even killed in the streets as happened in Durban reported in a Kenyan newspaper: "Gugu Dlamini…was waylaid by a mob and beaten senseless. Her crime? Three weeks earlier she had gone public about her HIV-status. She eventually succumbed to her injuries… Gugu died in hospital – her body broken not by the HIV she faced with such conspicuous courage, but the injuries her neighbours inflicted on her."
d) Neglect and desertion.
Government and national authorities may ignore the existence of HIV/AIDS, neglecting to respond to the needs of the infected and the affected while failing to recognize the disease as an epidemic that demands urgent national address. Also it is our experience that HIV/AIDS is recognized at the lip-surface but no commitment to implementations of policies discussed.
On the other hand, PLWHA and their care givers are neglected by denying then food, care love education, drugs, friendship, company and other forms of support like spiritual and pastoral care. This leaves the infected and the affected lonely and hopeless, thus dying miserably without dignity and value.


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Writer Profile
Dennis Nyakundi Onguti

I am the sixth of eight children of a polygamous family. After graduating from high school, I was asked to help in a local girls secondary school teaching mathematics after the death of the teacher. This time was exciting and it was then that I had an opportunity to see my own potential and those of the young people. I realised encouragement and the availability of resources can unleash the inner strength of the young to do great things and I promised to dedicate myself to the service of the young. In 1999, I entered into a religious missionary congregation of the Consolata with the intention of becoming a priest so I can reach young people all over the world.
I finished my first degree in philosophy in 2003 with a diploma in religious studies. I took a one year break to one of the provinces for one year helping the young people to develop micro-scale business. It was really a beautiful experience!
I am currently pursuing a degree in Religious studies and a diploma in Youth Ministry.

Doris Carter | Sep 14th, 2018
Healing from HIV-AIDS, i never though dr.camala who could ever get my HIV-AIDS cured with his healing spell, i have tried almost everything but i couldn't find any solution on my disease, despite all these happening to me, i always spend alot to buy a HIV drugs from hospital and taking some several medications but no relieve, until one day i was just browsing on the internet when i come across a great post of !Michelle! who truly said that she was been diagnose with HIV and was healed that very week through the help of these great powerful healing spell doctor, sometime i really wonder why people called him Papa camala, i never knew it was all because of the great and perfect work that he has been doing that is causing all this. so i quickly contacted him, and he ask me some few questions and he said a thing i will never forget that anyone who contacted him is ! always getting his or her healing in just 6 hours after doing all he ask you, so i was amazed all the time i heard that from him, so i did all things only to see that at the very day which he said i will be healed, all the strength that has left me before rush back and i becomes very strong and healthy, this disease almost kills my life all because of me, so i will to hospital to give the final test to the disease and the doctor said i am HIV negative, i am very amazed and happy about the healing dr.camala gave to me from the ancient part of Africa, you can email him now for your own healing too at: dr.camalahivadscure@yahoo.com or WhatsApp him +2349055637784 thank you sir for healing me from HIV, i am Doris Carter.

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