Stigma and Discrimination
Overview of stigma and discrimination activities in Zanzibar:
Generally speaking, currently many Zanzibaris are more aware of HIV&AIDS and know how to protect themselves from HIV. However, due to stigma, more people are not coming forward to benefit from VCT, HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services, which they might deserve.
Evidence shows that Zanzibar has higher level of stigma and discrimination, the impact of which to the national response is that it undermines community health by reducing uptake of HIV services to HIV prevention, VCT, treatment support and welfare benefits for those who are HIV positive.
Moreover, attitudes of many health workers have remained a barrier to health care among PHLIVs and key populations at large.
This sigma and discrimination against PHLIV and key populations, for many years has resulted into increased new HIV infections and non respect of human rights of PHLIVs and the affected people, within the islands..
Stigma and discrimination of PLWHA exists in Zanzibar and it is being experienced from many sources. From the community including the family, this includes being gossiped (58.1%), being verbally insulted (30.3%) and being excluded from social (29.8%) and religious gathering. Other PLWHA also stigmatise and discriminate their colleagues as reported by (5.3%) of the respondents. In addition to that fact, there were also cases of sexual assault which was common among people known to the individual. Spousal assault was reported by (37.1%). Spouses and partners also subject PLWHA to psychological pressure, sexual rejection also takes place. (source: stigma index report- 2010).
The results of the assessment would inform and guide advocacy work on stigma and discrimination in the country.
Based on stigma index report findings, Zanzibar through ZAC, launched a major campaign on stigma reduction in Pemba and Unguja in 2010. The campaign dealt with stigma in the families and communities as well as self stigma which cause PLHIV to shy off from receiving HIV services like PMTCT and home outreach support.
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