Sexual Health Stigma Theme 10

Unwrapping stigma related to HIV/AIDS/STIs is a step towards combating the ideas that propel them into our social worlds. We review prior themes, including ally-ship, safer sex, consent, self-advocacy, and HIV/STI transmission, in order to undo the impact of stigma.

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So much of our work on HIV and STIs has involved learning to undo our own long-held and intransigent stigmas, through a process of committed re-education. Even in recent years, so much has changed concerning our knowledge of HIV and STIs, how they operate in the body, different treatment options, and ways of coping and managing infections and diseases if or when you contract one. Given the success of the new antiretroviral treatments, for example, we now know with certainty that the HIV pandemic can be stopped. The probable reason we have not been able to stop it so far is the stigma surrounding HIV and those who live with it, which too often prevents young people from getting tested and treated. The way that we fight the battle against stigma is through education, storytelling, and art. Let’s work together to banish stigma!

Pre-Video Activities Prepare

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Not Everybody's Afraid Partial Class

Zakk shares his experience dating someone with HIV and his ensuing emotions and questions. He reflects how through love, he released himself from the fear and stigma surrounding HIV.

Flochella Full Class

At the “Flochella” music festival, we learn the six fluids of HIV/STI transmission.

Sexy Self-Love Multi-Class

Kelly explains her frustration about stigma when she discloses to a potential sexual partner that she’s living with HIV.

Statistics Resources

Reference these key facts as needed to support discussions throughout this lesson.

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