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Words Matter: Communicating to End HIV/AIDS Stigma

The National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) explicitly recognizes the impact stigma has on the domestic HIV epidemic: “Stigma and discrimination must be eliminated in order to diminish barriers to HIV prevention, testing, and care.” The NHAS offers a set of recommendations on tackling stigma and discrimination, and ONAP is developing an NHAS indicator to monitor our national progress on reducing stigma.

At a meeting on HIV stigma that the Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) recently held at the White House Richard Wolitski, Ph.D., Acting Director, Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was reminded of the importance of words in ending stigma. “Words matter. They can motivate, empower, and lift people up. They can also do a great deal of damage and tear people down.” To read Dr. Wolitski’s blog on stigma, go to https://blog.aids.gov/2016/03/words-matter-communicating-to-end-hiv-related-stigma.html.
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