NEW YORK, 13 October 2010 (PlusNews) – A new campaign aims to beat stigma and discrimination against HIV-positive Africans in New York by urging the wider population to show solidarity with them.
“For those living outside their home turf, the vulnerability that comes with being HIV-positive really exacerbates HIV stigma,” explained Kim Nichols, co-executive director of the African Service Committee (ASC), an NGO that provides HIV and other health services to African immigrants in New York.
“There’s a fear of deportation, a fear of being rejected by family and friends if they find out about their status that is just as real, if not more, because of the small community they are living in,” she added.
According to the ASC, while effective treatment has dramatically changed the fight against AIDS, stigma and discrimination against HIV-positive people remain as strong as ever.
The “Choose to Stand Up”campaign calls on people to break the silence surrounding HIV stigma; share information by talking about experiences and concerns about HIV with friends and family; and to treat those with HIV with respect and compassion.