About 75% of People in Rwanda Who Have Experienced Discrimination Are HIV-Positive, Survey Finds
A recently released survey on stigma in Rwanda indicates that at least 74% of people in various segments of society who have experienced discrimination are HIV-positive, the New Times/AllAfrica.com reports. The discrimination often is in the form of isolation from family and physical harassment, according to the survey.
The study was conducted by the Association of Vulnerable Widows Infected and Affected by HIV and AIDS in conjunction with the Network of People Living with HIV and UNAIDS Rwanda. It found that although 87% of respondents reported never having been denied health services, 88% reported being denied other social services, such as family planning, because of their HIV status. An estimated one-third of respondents reported that their rights had been abused because of their HIV-positive status.
Chantal Nyiramanyana, AVVAIS president, said, "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." The survey found that other groups experiencing stigma in the country include commercial sex workers and asylum seekers (Kwizera, New Times/AllAfrica.com, 5/27).