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Stigma clings stubbornly to women living with HIV/AIDS
Date:3/31/2008

ive for amfAR, questioned nearly 5,000 respondents ages 18-44 and covered HIV risk and responsibility, impact of gender-based violence, and womens access to healthcare and health information, as well as attitudes towards HIV-positive women. The survey was made possible by grants from Broadway Cares /Equity Fights AIDS and the MAC AIDS Fund.

The March 31 briefing will feature presentations by international AIDS activist Marvelyn Brown; Regan Hofmann, Editor of POZ Magazine; Helen-Maria Lekas, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Clinical Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia Universitys Mailman School of Public Health; and Laura C. Nyblade, Ph.D., Senior Social Scientist, HIV and Stigma, at the International Center for Research on Women. The briefing will be moderated by Dr. Blumenthal.

Many women erroneously believe that they are not at risk for HIV, said Hofmann, who is HIV positive. This is why we are seeing the rate of new infections for women rise significantly in America. While many women accept that they could potentially become pregnant from even just one act of unprotected sex, they feel that they would have to do something extraordinary to contract HIV, like be excessively promiscuous or be involved with people the likes of whom they don't think they would encounter in their everyday world.

Brown said, I take seven pills daily that make me sick to my stomach. I experience nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and the worst of all mood swings. But yet it is still not the worst part of having HIV. It is the stigma.


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Contact: Donald Kaplan
donald.kaplan@amfar.org
212-816-1602
amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research
Source:Eurekalert

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