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Bharat, Shalini; Peter Aggleton; Paul Tyrer
India: HIV and AIDS-Related Discrimination, Stigmatization and Denial
UNAIDS Best Practice Collection Key Material (UNAIDS/01.46E).
UNAIDS - Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, Geneva, August 2001, 72 pp
92 9173 104 8

Reproduced with the kind permisison of UNAIDS.


"In India, as elsewhere, AIDS is perceived as a disease of 'others'- of people living on the margins of society, whose lifestyles are considered 'perverted' and 'sinful'. Discrimination, stigmatization, and denial (DSD) are the expected outcomes of such values, affecting life in families, communities, workplaces, schools, and health care settings. Because of HIV/AIDS-related DSD, appropriate policies and models of good practice remain undeveloped. People living with HIV and AIDS (PLHA) continue to be burdened by poor care and inadequate services, while those with the power to help do little to make the situation better. Although there have been a small number of recent Indian studies on HIV/AIDS-related DSD, it remains the case that relatively little is known about the causes of these negative responses or how they can best be addressed. For this reason, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS provided financial and technical support to a research team from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, in order that insights might be gained into the experiences of Indians living with HIV/AIDS, the negative social responses they encounter, and the roots of HIV/AIDS-related DSD. This report describes that research, conducted in Mumbai and Bangalore, India. We begin with an assessment of the HIV/AIDS situation in India, both in terms of epidemiological and DSD-related research. We then go on to describe the research itself- the objectives, the locations, and the research tools utilized. Next, we describe the research findings, with particular emphasis on forms and determinants of HIV/AIDS-related DSD, and responses to it. In presenting our findings, we wished to move beyond previous research on DSD, which has had a tendency to focus only on individual cases or experiences, or on the role of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in exerting pressure on governments and national authorities to act. This report, in contrast, aims to offer an account of how DSD operates, and what causes it, in a range of contexts in two contrasting regions."

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