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STIGMA AND DISCRIMINATION

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STIGMA AND DISCRIMINATION Powered By Docstoc
					Regional Videoconference: Addressing
Stigma and Discrimination of HIV/AIDS
              in Liberia
            April 2, 2009
            (NACP Logo)




                                        1
     Country Context and Status

• HIV sentinel sero - prevalence = 5.4% (2007)
• Demographic and Health Survey prevalence =
  1.5% (2007) [men – 1.2% ; women 1.8%]
• Higher in Urban areas – 2.5%
• Lower in rural areas – 0.8%
• There are 108,000 people living with HIV in
  Liberia
                                                 2
           Socio-cultural Issues
• Polygamy
• Harmful traditional practices including female
  Genital mutilation.
• Inhibition among traditional leaders and elders to
  discuss sex and HIV openly.
• HIV+ people not accepted at some social
  gatherings (churches, weddings, community
  meetings).
• Poverty denies HIV+ positive people from
  accessing treatment from private health centers.

                                                   3
            Policy Framework
• ILO Workplace Policy
• Draft law on Stigma and Discrimination
  awaiting approval by the Legislature.
• Draft National Strategy fro HIV and AIDS




                                             4
• Organizational strategies include:
(1) Creating awareness in churches and mosques
(2) Peer Group discussion targeting youth and
    women
(3) Deliver messages in communities using
    dramas
(4) Use media to break silence
(5) Increase traditional leaders ‘understanding of
    HIV and AIDS.
(6) Community based counseling.
                                                 5
• Tools
  (1) NACP communication material against
   stigma and discrimination.
 (2) Dramas and community theaters




                                            6
  Interventions to Address S & D
• Provide information on HIV & AIDS in schools,
  churches, mosques and communities.
• Positive people organize themselves into
  support groups.
• Engage traditional leaders to remove taboos,
  myths and misconceptions from discussion of
  sex, HIV and stigma.
• Law against stigma pending approval from
  Upper House in Parliament.
                                              7
• Strategies used for interventions:
(1) Radio talk shows is a key strategy.
(2) The use of drama by artists
(3) Peer group discussion is another strategy
• Target groups include: youth, students, women,
    community, religious and traditional leaders.
• Key partners include Government, community
    leaders, FBOs, UN system, and bilateral donors.

                                                      8
• Response from members of the communities has
  been encouraging, but more needs to be done.
• Some churches and schools are still not accepting
  positive people.
• Government attempts at passing a law against
  stigma is good. The implementation of such a law
  may pose some challenges.
• Response from the private media has been
  limited.
                                                  9
     Achievements and Successes
• The creation of awareness by support groups and
  members of PLWA organizations has worked well.
• There is an increasing awareness of stigma and
  discrimination due to interventions.
• Good Practices include:
  (a) Talk shows on radio & TV
  (b) Involvement of the Legislature
  (c ) Engaging the traditional leaders in removal of
       taboos, myths and misconceptions.
• No M & E

                                                        10
               CHALLENGES
• The response to Stigma and Discrimination is
  faced with a number of challenges.
• These include:
(1) Low capacity within PLWA organizations.
(2) Lack of funding at the national level for
    activities against stigma and discrimination.
(3) Widespread denial about the epidemic.


                                                    11
(4) Many parts of rural Liberia remain
  inaccessible
(5) Some schools churches and mosques are not
  responding to messages against stigma.
(6) Lack of effective communication at all levels.




                                                 12
             Lessons Learned
• The establishment and activism of PLWA
  organizations has helped to reduce stigma and
  discrimination.
• The door to door approach of creating awareness
  on stigma and discrimination has helped.
• Traditional leaders unwillingness to discuss HIV
  and sex openly.
• Opportunity presented by international events to
  highlight issues related to stigma.
                                                 13
            The Way Forward
• Passing and implementing a law against
  stigma and discrimination.
• Mobilizing resources for stigma and
  discrimination interventions.
• Integrating stigma and discrimination in
  national programs.
• Using traditional and religious structures to
  discuss issues related to Stigma.

                                                  14

				
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