7th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2013)


WEWS01 Breaking Through Stigma: The Missing Component in Biomedical Prevention Efforts
  Professional Development Workshop
Venue: Mini Room 4
Time: 03.07.2013, 11:00 - 12:30
Co-Facilitators: Beena Thomas, India
Ron Stall, United States
Level: Advanced
Target audience: Other health care worker / social services provider, Researcher, Policy specialist
Seating limits: 80
Many countries in Asia are facing concentrated epidemics amongst key at risk populations including men who have sex with men, female sex workers, transgenders, and people who use drugs. Providing HIV prevention and treatment services to them are hampered because stigma makes people difficult to reach. New methods to reach such hidden populations are being tried and strategies are being developed to combat stigma both at the community level and the policy level. The workshop will provide a timely platform to share views, experiences and research findings on the many ways in which stigma affects the HIV response, personal and social factors that can attenuate stigma experiences, and promising approaches to curb it. An international panel will give brief introductory presentations. Time will be reserved for a facilitated dicussion between panelists and participants.

11:00
WEWS0101
Introduction
R. Stall, United States

11:05
WEWS0102
Overcoming stigma: an individual struggle
R. Samuel, Malaysia

11:20
WEWS0103
Powerpoint
Influence of HIV-related and Sexual Minority Stigma on Mental Health and Sexual Risk Behaviors of MSM and Transgender people in India
V. Chakrapani, India

11:35
WEWS0104
Powerpoint
Socially constructed exclusion: understanding and mitigating the pervasive influences of HIV-related stigma
J. De Wit, Australia

11:50
WEWS0105
Powerpoint
Reducing HIV-related stigma among key populations: global lessons and key questions for biomedical prevention efforts
M. Das, India

12:05
WEWS0106
Moderated discussion

12:25
WEWS0107
Powerpoint
Closing remarks
B. Thomas, India

Powerpoints presentations
Influence of HIV-related and Sexual Minority Stigma on Mental Health and Sexual Risk Behaviors of MSM and Transgender people in India - Venkatesan Chakrapani

Socially constructed exclusion: understanding and mitigating the pervasive influences of HIV-related stigma - John B.F. De Wit

Reducing HIV-related stigma among key populations: global lessons and key questions for biomedical prevention efforts - Madhumita Das

Closing remarks - Beena Thomas



Rapporteur report

Community Advisory Group report by Martin Choo


Pastor Danaraj from Malaysia has been a injection drug user and been incarcerated in the prison system over 15 years. He shared his life as a person living with HIV and his subsequent journey to become a pastor. Looking back retrospectively, he found that stigma was forming in his life while he was still an addict, and while he spent 15 years in and out of prison.  He suffered from really low self-esteem and tended to mix with people in similar situations. It is only with perseverance and the desire to get out of the rut that he managed to break free. With support from his doctor, Adeeba Kamarulzaman, he began to believe he couldlive like a normal human being without HIV constantly hanging over him. While he is still dealing with stigma – as an ex-con and ex-addict – he believes that stigma can only affect you if you allow it to. Pastor Danaraj is sanguine, “…the only way I could get out of stigma is… to do normal stuff. You work through the atrocities [of life in the margins of society] and one of them is stigma… It can kill you, the more you are susceptible to stigma, the more you are vulnerable to it. That’s what society does to someone with a torrid past... There is bound to be baggage when you are coming out of prison after many years.” 

John De Wit reflected Pastor Danaraj’s experience with his own experience of stigma as recent as 3 weeks ago. According to John, reducing stigma and fighting discrimination are essential in the HIV response. There is a powerful effect of stigma in the health and wellbeing of people affected. We need to strengthen our evidence base, in particular local research that can help us advocate at the local level and across social settings. We need much better measures of stigma and to know the gaps. We need to investigate the experience and expression of stigma in relation to the felt and perceived stigma. Stigma hinges on very basic psychological processes that we all have. Research reveals that stigma is experienced even in relation to collecting and taking HIV medication. The more important HIV was to the individual’s self-identity, the more negative the reported experiences and impact. For a nuanced responseto the epidemic, it will be important therefore to acknowledge and learn fromthe stories of stigma among people living with HIV. 




   

    The organizers reserve the right to amend the programme.