People with HIV/AIDS still face social stigma
People living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) are still facing discrimination in society that even forces them not to seek treatment in the healthcare centres, a study revealed yesterday.
The study titled 'People living with HIV stigma index' conducted on 238 HIV positive people revealed that 16.8 percent of them decided not to go to a hospital when they needed to do so because of the discriminatory attitude of most of the health providers.
UNAIDS, James P Grant School of Public Health of Brac University, Ashar Alo Society and Family Planning Association of Bangladesh (FPAB) jointly carried out the study.
The dissemination programme was held at Spectra Convention Centre in the city.
The study showed that some 84.9 percent of the HIV carriers decided not to have more children because of their uncertain future, while 70 percent of them feel ashamed for their HIV status.
The social stigma is so deep-routed in the society that 21 percent PLHIV still believes that they should commit suicide.
The recommendations from the study include all HIV prevention interventions should incorporate psycho-social counselling, especially to handle the internal stigma and trauma management.
Comprehensive training for the health service providers on stigma and discrimination and its impact on public health management should be addressed, while mass media campaign addressing stigma is also important.
Sabina Fayz Rashid of Brac University, Habiba Akhter of Ashar Alo, Tony Michael of UNAIDS and ASA Masud of Confidential Approach AIDS Prevention presented the study paper.
Director General of the Directorate General of Family Planning Abdul Quaium delivered his speech as the chief guest, while UNAIDS Country Director Dan Odallo and Meher Afroz Chumki MP also spoke.