HIV/AIDS-related stigma and discrimination are an everyday reality. Stigma and the fear of discrimination often stop people from seeking to be tested for HIV, or from acknowledging their HIV status publicly. People living with, or suspected of having, HIV are sometimes denied treatment by medical practitioners, housing by landlords, and jobs by employers. They may sometimes be shunned by their families, friends and colleagues, turned down for insurance coverage, or refused entry into foreign countries.
Reducing the stigma and discrimination surrounding HIV/AIDS is key to both stopping the spread of the epidemic and improving the quality of life of people living with the disease. The perception of HIV/AIDS as a disease affecting only, or primarily, groups such as gay men, sex workers or people who use drugs can lead to little or no attention paid by governments to the disease. Yet, governments have a legal responsibility to take action, and everyone has a role to play.
We work with people and organizations from across Canada and around the world to ensure that the human rights of people living with, or vulnerable to, HIV/AIDS are recognized, respected and protected — including the right to freedom from discrimination.