HIV tops stigmatisation index: Survey

• Discrimination against infected people stands at 74% A survey on the rate of stigmatisation in the country has been released and indicates that at least 74 percent of people discriminated in different societies in the country are HIV positive.

• Discrimination against infected people stands at 74%

A survey on the rate of stigmatisation in the country has been released and indicates that at least 74 percent of people discriminated in different societies in the country are HIV positive.

The study was conducted by the Association of Vulnerable Widows Infected and Affected by HIV and AIDS (AVVAIS) in collaboration with the Network of People Living with HIV (RRP+) under the sponsorship of UNAIDS Rwanda.

Other groups that are being discriminated against in society besides HIV include; sex workers and asylum seekers which constitute the remaining 26 percent. According to the survey report, the discrimination is in the form of isolation from family fabric and physical harassment.

Speaking after the launch of the survey, AVVAIS president, Chantal Nyiramanyana said that the main objective of the survey was to get the real picture concerning stigmatisation in the mentioned vulnerable groups. According to the association, the survey is also geared towards understanding and reduction of stigma in PLWAs.

Nyiramanyana added that the survey was conducted in order to have evidence-based advocacy for the stigmatised people.

“We conducted this survey as a way of providing basis for advocacy, policy change and programmatic interventions by the government and other interested bodies to address stigma and discrimination related to HIV,” she said.

The report reveals that although 87 percent of respondents reported that they had never been denied health services, a large percentage (88 percent) reported being denied access to other social services like family planning services because of their HIV status.

It also reveals that 45 percent of the respondents reported that they shied away because of their status. About a third of the respondents reported that they have had their rights abused because of their HIV status.

The Social Mobilisation Adviser of UNAIDS, Dieudonne Ruturwa, expressed optimism that the report would be useful in scaling up positive prevention.

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