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Global PLHIV Stigma Index report available online

Despite significant medical advancements and global efforts to combat AIDS, a staggering nine million individuals remain untreated, and preventable AIDS-related causes claimed the lives of 630,000 people in 2022. The pervasive stigma and discrimination surrounding HIV continue to impede access to prevention, treatment, and care, exacerbating inequalities.

The People Living with HIV Stigma Index team іn an effort led by the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+), with collaboration from the International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW) and support from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) launched the Global Report 2023. It covers the situation in 25 countries between 2020 and 2023 and captures the experiences of more than 30,000 people living with HIV, reflecting the current global picture of HIV-related stigma and discrimination.

The People Living with HIV Stigma Index serves as an advocacy-driven evidence-gathering process and the primary focus is on community-led research, community mobilization, capacity development, and partnership building for targeted advocacy. Originating in 2008, the Stigma Index underwent a transformative shift in 2018 with the introduction of Stigma Index 2.0 and the launch of a standardized methodology in 2020.

Despite progress, internalized stigma persists among respondents, and a significant number still face high levels of stigma due to their HIV status. The report sheds light on the challenges faced by key populations, emphasizing the urgent need for action to dismantle discriminatory laws targeting sex workers, people who use drugs, and LGBTIQ+ individuals.

The findings serve as a call to action for policymakers, organizations, and advocates. The report underscores the urgency of redoubling efforts to combat stigma and discrimination, especially for vulnerable groups such as young people aged 18-24 and key populations. The stories of vulnerability and resilience within the report aim to inspire the HIV movement to fulfill its promise of ending stigma and discrimination for all people living with HIV, reinforcing the imperative to do what is right.