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ENGLISH HIV When the

ENGLISH HIV When the STIGMA is more harmful than infection The Institute for Democracy and Civil Society (IDZ) and the Deutsche Aids Hilfe (DAH) presented the research results of the study “positive voices 2.0”. The results were shockingly little better than in a partially comparable study from 2011. COMMUNITY RESEARCH For the study, almost 1,000 HIV-positive people took the time to fill out the online questionnaire about their personal experiences and consequences with discrimination. In addition, almost 500 HIV-positive people were interviewed about their story. What is special about this project is that it not only gathers knowledge about the current status of discrimination against HIV-positive people, but also that the interviewers themselves are HIV-positive. This lowers the respondents' inhibitions and at the same time increases their willingness to be completely transparent. This study is also a community project because the respondents are guided through every step of the research, ensuring participatory research. DEALING WITH POSITIVE PEOPLE LAGS BEHIND SCIENTIFIC PROGRESS Around 73% of those surveyed state that in many areas of their lives nobody knows about the disease, because the social restrictions after this coming out are far-reaching. Due to the fact that there is still too little education, there is still a social stigma towards the disease that no longer holds true. Despite the advances in medicine since the last survey in 2011, there is still only slow progress in societital discussions and openness towards the topic of HIV. According to Matthias Kuske, project coordinator of the study "positive voices 2.0", it makes no sense to treat people with HIV differently from other people, or to adopt more stringent hygiene concepts, because HIV is no longer transmissible with the right therapy. STILL SEVERE DISCRIMINATION Thanks to the good therapy offered nowadays, three quarters of those surveyed stated that they had no, or only a few, health problems. Compared to the health aspect, which ostensibly should be the most important one, a full 52% of the respondents state that they are impaired by prejudice in the social area of ​their life. The ignorance of the effects of the disease and the ways in which the virus is transmitted not only leads to HIV-positive people being misunderstood. It leads to their discrimination and different treatment in the private sphere, with 16% of those surveyed stating that being open about their infection even led to general health services refusing treatment on the part of the doctor. CONSEQUENCES AND DEMANDS This project has brought self-confidence, strength and, above all, new contacts to the interviewees and also to the interviewers. In order to steer the discourse about HIV in a hopefully better, more unprejudiced direction, the project calls for an appropriate presentation of what life with HIV really is like and what HIV therapy does. Matthias Kuske sums it up, "Today people with HIV can live, love and work like everyone else." (Marco Bast,ck,mb) Grafik: Iuliia / stock.adobe.com 50 CHECK OST #2

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