"Society has often let stigma dictate how we relate to those living with HIV, which not only can cause those individuals so much hurt and pain, but it can easily risk their lives. Whenever society closes the door on this community, we lose the opportunity to fully love and appreciate those who are being left behind. Every time we let stigma win; we close another red door on those living with HIV."
"By normalising the conversation about HIV, we have the power to reduce the stigma that surrounds this community. When we discuss HIV as we would any other topic, it becomes a regular part of daily conversation. By refocusing how we’re having these conversations, we can change the narrative around HIV and see it as a normal part of life that people may experience."
This week, I was part of one of those conversations. I had the pleasure of talking to Darnell Moore, writer, activist, and host of ViiV Healthcare's Being Seen podcast. We and his other guests had an open discussion about HIV stigma, our experiences with it, and how we can begin to overcome it. You can listen to this special World AIDS Day episode here: https://www.beingseenpodcast.com/episode-10-stigma.
Science and research have provided us with the options to treat and prevent HIV. However, it is on us as individuals, communities, and as a society-at-large to speak up, start the hard conversations, and be part of the solution that removes the stigma around HIV.
What conversations will you have today?
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