The UNAIDS theme of this year’s World AIDS Day is “Communities make the difference” and PAN is happy to have been part of a community effort working to address stigma in BC. We are working in collaboration with Health Authority representatives to honour those living with HIV and AIDS by fighting stigma. We have developed anti-stigma messages that Health Authorities will be sharing to their networks, encouraging people to consider the impact stigma can have on health, healthcare access, and community wellness for people living with and affected by HIV or AIDS.
“We are pleased that all the Health Authorities have chosen an anti-stigma platform for World AIDS Day, and by their commitment to promoting those messages across BC. It is encouraging to see such a collaborative and concerted effort to mark World AIDS Day this year. Thanks to Sophie Bannar-Martin of Island Health for chairing the World AIDS Day committee, and to all those involved for their energy and passion!” says J. Evin Jones, PAN Executive Director. “We strongly encourage PAN members to consider using these messages to address stigma in their communities. Thanks to all members and those working in Health Authorities for all the work they do combatting stigma, not just on WAD but every other day of the year as well.”
“We are pleased that all the Health Authorities have chosen an anti-stigma platform for World AIDS Day, and by their commitment to promoting those messages across BC. It is encouraging to see such a collaborative and concerted effort.” J. Evin Jones, PAN Executive Director
PAN has been researching stigma for several years through the BC People Living with HIV Stigma Index Project. BC, led by PAN, was the first province in Canada to use the international Stigma Index survey tool. We are helping other provinces by providing study findings as well as lessons learned in study implementation. In conjunction with members, people living with HIV and other allies, we are moving from research to action, supporting conversations around stigma reduction intervention planning across the province. Learn more about the BC People Living with HIV Stigma Index Project.
This World AIDS Day, use these messages to fight stigma:
• HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a chronic disease that results from an infection that weakens your immune system.
• Those living with HIV are people first; they are children, parents and friends.
• There is no cure for HIV, but there are safe treatment options. Treatment helps people live long and healthy lives.
• HIV medication can reduce the amount of virus in the body so that the virus can no longer be detected or transmitted.
• Fear of discrimination is an important reason why people avoid being tested or treated for HIV.
• As health-care providers, you can help people living with HIV feel safer when they access care. One way to start is by using person-first language and by reflecting on your thoughts about people living with HIV.
Learn more about the scope of work of Health Authorities
Questions? Feedback? Get in touch! Janet Madsen, Capacity Building and Knowledge Translation Coordinator, [email protected]