Stigma and discrimination

HIV-related stigma and discrimination remain one of the biggest barriers for key populations and people living with HIV. Evident in multiple forms, they affect the ability to access prevention, care, and treatment services.

The repercussions of having a positive HIV test result is enough to deter many from getting tested in the first place. Married and pregnant women face the additional burden of gender norms and local customs that often require women to obtain approval from their husbands in order to get tested. People living with HIV frequently report that the fear of their status being known has caused them to miss appointments and forced them to choose a health centre located further away to prevent them from being seen or recognized. Adherence is also affected, as the fear of family or husbands finding out their status and the resulting rejection caused some to reportedly stop taking their ARVs.

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