The PLHIV Stigma Index underway in Germany
Finally, in November 2011 - after more than a year of preparatory work - the first interview within the frame of "positive stimmen" (literally "positive voices"), the PLHIV Stigma Index in Germany, is underway.
Previously funding was recieved from the Federal Center for Health Education, a steering committee established with representatives from different PLHIV communities, a time frame was decided, the questionnaire translated and 40 interviewers recruited from all over Germany and trained. In November PLHIV began interviewing other PLHIV about their experiences of stigma and discrimination - and provide them with information which could be helpful (e.g., where to find counselling centers or self-help groups or how to uphold the rights of PLHIV).
The start of the project was accompanied by the launch of a project website (www.positive-stimmen.de ). This website provides comprehensive information on stigmatisation and discrimination and tries to motivate PLHIV to get organised and to get in touch with initiatives of people living with HIV in Germany. Furthermore, we created a facebook-fanpage (with currently more than 600 fans) and installed a secured online-platform for interviewers. Here, they can exchange their experiences, discuss questions and keep in touch with each other.