Three and a half decades from the mass spread of HIV/AIDS has offered international research, resources, media coverage, and implementation of new medical strategies. Despite this, there is no cure and no better widespread public understanding of the virus and those who live with it. Today, stemming from a devastating generation of infection and loss in the 1980s, individuals living with HIV and AIDS often face stigma and discrimination in many facets of their lives. This discrimination often permeates peoples’ employment, access to healthcare, family, and relationships. Unfortunately, many people face additional discrimination from prejudices existing against high risk populations for HIV/AIDS, such as men who have sex with men, sex workers, or people who have used injection drugs.
We at the CCGSD stand against HIV Criminalization and demand immediate federal action. Moreover we ask that all Ministers of Education take steps to add important information about HIV (and STBBIs) prevention to curriculums at all grades so that young people can be fully informed and make educated decisions.
The lack of understanding of how HIV/AIDS is transmitted and affects individuals creates an environment where those living with HIV/AIDS are unjustly targeted. This has caused many people to suffer consequences after disclosing their status, or prevented many people from disclosing their status for fear of the discrimination that would follow. The choice not to disclose status for any reason, whether privacy or fear of stigma, can lead to people into a situation of inadequate medical coverage, lack of time off for health, or not seeking appropriate medical treatment. These factors perpetuate the conditions that makes HIV/AIDS a virus that often goes untested, untreated, seldom prevented, and often misunderstood. The stigma of HIV/AIDS alone is a powerful obstacle to populations being properly treated and to eradicating the virus entirely.