Op-Ed: Stop Stigmatizing People with HIV

Despite advances in HIV treatment during the past 30 years, stigma and discrimination persist and continue to have a forceful impact on people living with HIV. Stigma plays a great role in the global HIV epidemic and remains a great barrier to the health of people living with HIV. HIV-related stigma devalues and stereotypes people living with HIV, and it increases vulnerability to HIV infection by interfering with voluntary testing and counseling and reducing access to care and treatments. Hence, a better understanding of HIV-related stigma will facilitate the development of HIV prevention, treatment and care programs as well as help control global HIV infection rates. HIV stigma occurs at b

Why Advocacy for LGBT in HIV?

HIV continues to be a major health crisis both in the United States and around the world and affect tens of thousands of people every year. However, some demographic group are more vulnerable to the HIV epidemic because of gender, social, and culture. One of these vulnerable groups is the LGBTQ community. LGBT stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. Nowadays, this acronym has transformed into a more inclusive version, LGBTQIA, to provide protection and support for the Queer, Intersex, and Asexual communities. HIV disproportionately affects the LGBT community. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), gay and bisexual men are the population most affected b

HIV & AIDS in Atlanta

Despite the rapid growth of leading African American businesses in Atlanta, something else is arising and tearing the city down: its HIV rate. In fact, given the rising rate of new diagnosed HIV cases, particularly among gay and bisexual black men, HIV has become a public health emergency in the capital of the south. In 2014, Atlanta had the fifth highest rate of new HIV infections among metro areas, with a rate of 25.8 new diagnoses for every 100,000 residents. That is more than twice the national rate of 12.3. Recent reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that the HIV/AIDS rates in Atlanta, particularly in the downtown area, are as bad as some third-world A

What Are HIV and AIDS?

When a person has HIV, this diagnosis does not mean that he receives a death sentence or acquires AIDS. However, many people nowadays still confuse these two terms into a single condition, and misuse the word “AIDS” even though HIV is what they really mean. HIV and AIDS are different. HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. The virus destroys a type of white blood cell in the immune system called a T-helper cell or a CD4 cell, and makes copies of itself inside these cells. As HIV destroys more CD4 cells, it gradually breaks down a person’s immune system and the body fails to fight off infections and disease over time. Healthy people usually have 500 to 1,600 CD4 cells per cubic millimet

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