Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Dominican Republic: Understanding HIV stigma and discrimination
Thirty per cent of the women and seventeen per cent of men had been advised against having children. Twenty per cent of women had been forcibly sterilized.
The research was an empowering experience for many of those interviewed as well as the interviewers. The interview process helped the interviewees identify experiences of discrimination and violence that they had not realized before. It also enabled the provision of education, counselling and service referrals where necessary.
The results of the study are an important tool for advocacy, development of public policies and programs. Dulce Almonte, Redovih’s president said:
“The Stigma Index is a base to fight and demand our rights, to participate in meetings regarding national plans and present proposals, raise our voices regarding the high incidence of stigma and discrimination at the workplace, socially and especially in the health sector.”
All those involved in the study agree that the results achieved constitute invaluable tools to address stigma and discrimination against PLHIV, especially against women. One interviewee summed this up perfectly:
“I really like it that this study was about discrimination, as, being HIV-positive, this I what I have lived with most.”
This is one of the twenty-four, real-life stories highlighting how IPPF's work is having a real impact in the lives of people around the world. 'In A Life' is available at: http://www.ippf.org/en/Resources/Reports-reviews/In+a+life+2010.htm