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43% of U.S. Adults Comfortable Interacting With PLHIV.


Jim Allen:
Some survey results. writeup in full:

In Brief:

--- Quote ---A survey was conducted online of 2,536 U.S. adults and was funded by Gilead Sciences’ COMPASS initiative—the name stands for “COMmitment to Partnership in Addressing HIV/AIDS in Southern States.”

87% of adults agree there is still stigma around HIV;

50% feel knowledgeable about HIV;

67% agree that medications exist to protect someone from contracting HIV, up 3 points from 2021;

46% agree that people living with HIV who are on proper medication cannot transmit the virus, up 4 points from 2021;

43% are comfortable interacting with people living with HIV, compared to 36% in 2020;

Only 31% noted seeing a story about a person living with HIV in the last 12 months.
--- End quote ---

Still room for improvement all round. Especially eliminating the stigma.

its been my experience that people over the age of about 35 are eh ones carrying the stigma.  most likely due to the massive amounts of terrible stigma around in the 80's and 90's.  Younger people never lived that and only know the new information coming out so they are much more receptive and understanding.  they believe the science who woulda thought haha.


--- Quote ---GLAAD’s most recent ‘Where We Are on TV 2021–2022’ report showed that—despite an approximate 1.2 million people living with HIV in the U.S. and despite GLAAD’s challenge to Hollywood to introduce at least three new regular or recurring LGBTQ characters living with HIV each year in scripted primetime broadcast, cable or streaming shows—there were only two characters living with HIV on TV. This marks a decrease from the prior year’s three characters, and a significant decrease from the nine characters two years ago. Additionally, both those shows have since been canceled.”
--- End quote ---
Sometimes I wonder what people (i guess I mean PLWH and their advocates) want. There are about 1.2 million PLWH in America with nearly 332 million people. That's the incredibly low amount of .3%....point three is not even a half a percentage point. How many PLWH characters should represent that small amount? I rarely, if ever, see characters with mobility impairment or blind yet those populations are much greater than PLWH.

The concept of stigma often confuses me too. Just like the other health issues I just mentioned, we haven't reduced many stigmas/prejudices against other people. Hell, has race stigma ever gotten better? Some days it feels like it hasn't at all but history shows some improvement over the long term.

If education is only going to remove a minor amount of stigma, I'm often at a loss why we don't tackle the worst stigma - self stigma.

So many people seem to spend a lot of their lives worrying about what others think of them or their medications. One of the comments for that article really resonated with me.

--- Quote ---Eric S

I've been at this since 1991. I have never felt stigmatized. I suppose you need to allow that to happen for it to happen. If some had issues about me I really couldn't have cared less because I cared not at all. 10 years ago I left an east coast metropolitan area for a very rural spot in Wisconsin. I am not one to hide this, I see no reason to. Again as before I feel no stigma out here in the boonies. I can imagine part of that is my presentation of this aspect of my life. No shame.
--- End quote ---

A year and a half after my first partner and I were diagnosed in 92 he passed away. Two years later I was in the hospital. Needless to say, after those incidents absolutely everyone I was acquainted with KNEW. Years later I would go on to do HIV advocacy and peer support work for a decade and everyone I ran across knew because I told them.

All my family and friends knowing certainly freed me of stigma. As to all the people in the world who don't know -  well, it's simply been none of their business. These days, with a healthy living partner, myself not in the hospital dying, and not doing any advocacy work, the subject literally never comes up. You certainly can't be stigmatized when no one knows, or you don't let them stigmatize you. ;)


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