40 years after the first HIV/AIDS case and as we are experiencing a new pandemic, we are still faced with challenges stemming from the social perception of HIV/AIDS and related prejudices.
There has been enormous scientific progress and now we have the experience and tools to prevent new transmissions and to improve health outcomes of people living with HIV. However, stigma and discrimination still hinder access to healthcare and impact the well-being and mental health of key populations. Stigma and discrimination limit our capacity to curb or eliminate and control pandemics and socially significant communicable diseases.
This World AIDS Day, EATG launches a campaign to raise awareness around persistent stigma and discrimination faced by people living with and communities affected by HIV/AIDS and the impact on their lives and mental health. Furthermore, we aim to foster different EU institutions’ interest to act on HIV, human rights and stigma-related issues.
With this campaign, we present stories of people living with and communities affected by HIV coming from different realities across Europe and Central Asia. Their stories showcase how stigma and discrimination is still a barrier to an effective response.
In addition, we present a set of recommended priorities regarding mental health to be acted upon by various stakeholders involved in the HIV/AIDS response and beyond.
Finally, we are further promoting the first ever European-wide survey that aims to measure the stigma faced by people living with HIV today. The survey conducted by ECDC, EATG and AIDS Action Europe, remains open until 9 January 2022.
The HIV & Mental Health project has been developed by the EATG, and was made possible through a grant from Gilead Sciences, Merck Sharp and Dohme, and ViiV Healthcare Europe Ltd. EATG acknowledges that the sponsors had no control or input into the structure or the content of the initiative.