Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
Piot Urges U.N. Racism Conference Attendees to Fight HIV Stigma
UNAIDS Executive Director Dr. Peter Piot told attendees of the U.N. conference against racism that world leaders must fight to dispel the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS, which is often linked to racial stereotypes, sex discrimination and prejudice against homosexuals, the Associated Press reports. Piot said that the stigma is "rooted in a combination of shame about the sexual way the virus is often transmitted and fear of getting the disease." He said, "Giving in to HIV/AIDS by blaming 'others' for transmitting HIV creates the ideal conditions for the virus to spread: denying there is a problem, forcing those at risk or already infected underground and losing any opportunity for effective public education or treatment or care." Piot urged world leaders and other public figures to publicly "challenge HIV discrimination" by recording HIV-related human rights violations, encouraging support groups for those with HIV and enacting legislation to "fight discrimination and ensure prevention and care are widely available" (Nessman, Associated Press, 9/5). Piot's speech is available online.
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