Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
IRIN/PlusNews Examines Global Campaign Aimed at Reducing HIV/AIDS-Related Stigma Among Youth
IRIN/PlusNews on Wednesday examined a global campaign, called "Does HIV Look Like Me?", that aims to reduce HIV/AIDS-related stigma and discrimination among youth. The campaign is organized by the U.S.-based organization Hope's Voice International, which partners with groups in other countries such as Cambodia, South Africa and Swaziland. The campaign operates in six countries and uses posters that feature the pictures of young people with the campaign slogan in an effort to reduce stigma associated with the disease. Adam Garner of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, which works with Hope's Voice on the campaign, said that a key component of the campaign is that local partners adapt the project to specific cultural contexts. "The epidemic is very different in all countries in the world in the way stigma manifests itself and in the way the virus is predominantly transmitted," he said. Sedumedi Soke, an ambassador for the campaign from South Africa, said that when he became aware of his HIV-positive status, it was "very difficult because of the environment I am in. There's more than the virus -- there are hate crimes, discrimination, stigma, people being labeled like they were the virus itself." He added that since becoming an ambassador, he "found that for the first time, I was looking at myself in the mirror and speaking openly to a broad group of people. It helped me get back the confidence, hope and self-esteem I had lost" (IRIN/PlusNews, 4/2).
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