Stigma Index exceeds 50 countries
Since the project began in 2008 more than 50 countries have completed the study. More than 1300 PLHIV have been trained as interviewers and 50,000 PLHIV have been interviewed. The PLHIV Stigma index questionnaire has been translated into 54 languages. Countries that have completed the implementation include:
Argentina, Bangladesh, Belorus, Bolivia, Cambodia, Cameroon, China, Colombia,Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Estonia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Republic of Moldova, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Turkey,Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Viet Nam, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Many more countries are expecting to complete the study in the coming months these include: Burundi, Canada, Comoros, Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Madagascar, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, USA to name some.
Stigma Index is being repeated...
Some countries have been fortunate enough to have baseline data from the first PLHIV Stigma Index study for some time, the evidence has been used to support policy and programmatic changes to better target scarce resources. The impact of the changes are going to be measured with a second implementation of the PLHIV Stigma Index to see if the activities have improved the situation for PLHIV. Ukraine and Rwanda have plans to complete the second study in 2013 and others will follow in 2014...
The criminalization of HIV transmission
There have always been controversial issues surrounding HIV - from the ability of young people to access condoms and other sexual and reproductive health services, to a truly human rights based response for sex workers, men who have sex with men and injecting drug users. One of the most challenging issues facing the world today is the criminalization of HIV transmission. The criminal law is a blunt instrument for HIV prevention. Yet from the UK to the USA, Mali to Mozambique, Azerbaijan to Australia, criminal laws are increasingly being used to prosecute HIV transmission or exposure. This undermines human rights and jeopardizes hard won gains in the global response to HIV. For World AIDS Day, a publication - Verdict on a Virus: Public Health, Human Rights and Criminal Law
- shows that a simplistic ‘law-and-order' response to HIV and the way in which individual court cases are reported in the media only serve to intensify a climate of denial, secrecy and fear.