Addressing HIV Stigma & Discrimination
HIV related stigma continues to be the biggest barrier towards eliminating HIV in Singapore and globally. Research has shown that stigma and the ensuing discrimination undermine HIV prevention efforts by discouraging individuals from seeking sexual health information and services lest these actions raise suspicion about their HIV status. Further, studies on stigma and discrimination and health-seeking behaviours show that PLHIV who perceive high levels of HIV-related stigma are 2.4 times more likely to delay treatment until they are very ill. The fear of stigma and discrimination, which can also be linked to fear of violence, has been shown to discourage PLHIV from disclosing their status even to family members and sexual partners, and undermines their willingness to access and adhere to treatment.
Policy and legislation that perpetuate stigma and descrimination in Singapore include:
- Criminalisation of HIV transmission and non-disclosure of HIV status
- Employment restrictions on PLHIV who are foreigners
- Mandatory notification of HIV infection
General lack of anti-discrimination laws that protect PLHIV and LGBTQ individuals AfA engages various audiences and delivers capacity building workshops, seminars, awareness raising talks, social media videos, short films among others to break the stigma and silence around HIV.
AfA delivers talks at corporate offices, small and medium business enterprises, healthcare institutions and educational institutions to raise awareness on HIV and break the myths surrounding the condition. Through these talks, it also engages institutional leadership to create an enabling environment for persons living with HIV (PLHIV) to have policies that are supportive of employees living with HIV.
Social Media Engagement
AfA creates social media posts, videos and messages debunking myths associated with HIV and to raise awareness on the advances in HIV prevention, testing and treatment among the general public.
AfA has run a number of national campaigns to engage the general public on HIV