Stigma, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder

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Reducing stigma and discrimination has been at the forefront of Jamaica’s national response to HIV for several years. One week ago today, in Kingston Jamaica, we presented some recommendations for how the capacity of healthcare workers could be improved so that stigma and discrimination experienced by people living with and vulnerable to HIV are reduced at point of care.

Stigma – like beauty – is in the eye of the beholder. Change starts with each one of us, knowing and being honest about our beliefs, prejudices, and morals. A training to address stigma among healthcare workers for example must be transformative – to tap into personal beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviours that are the drivers of stigma. In other words training must not be ‘business as usual’ and in fact have a ‘sparkle’ that can engage the hearts as well as the minds of participants.

Continue reading “Stigma, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder”

Want to reduce stigma? Move a building!

IMG_8402 copyConstruction, urban planning and stigma reduction to ensure access to medicine for people living with HIV are not obviously linked. Yet in one part of South Sudan, space and the layout of buildings may in fact be key for enabling more people to test and receive the life saving treatment they need if diagnosed positive for HIV.

I listened today to a healthcare worker talk about the sites where a potential client at his facility – in one of the regions of South Sudan – may experience stigma or discrimination during a typical journey to test for HIV.  Continue reading “Want to reduce stigma? Move a building!”

Happy Africa Day! Young people are our leaders of today and tomorrow…

18620183_2282994858592301_6116508137057125130_nWatipa’s Advisory Group member and friend, Georgina Caswell-Chiluba, had this to say for Africa Day today… celebrating and calling to harness the power of the energy, creativity and passion of young people.

Georgina’s vision has been profiled on This is Africa (TIA), a forum for Africans, by Africans, to reclaim identity, heritage and the continent’s rightful political, economic and cultural position in the globalised world and in the global consciousness.  Continue reading “Happy Africa Day! Young people are our leaders of today and tomorrow…”

Happy zero discrimination day!

March 1 is a day celebrating everyone’s right to live a full life with dignity regardless of age, gender, sexuality, nationality, ethnicity, skin color, height, weight, profession, education, and beliefs.

Happy zero discrimination day one and all! This day could also be considered one for acceptance, open-mindedness, and celebration of diversity.  Continue reading “Happy zero discrimination day!”

All in a name: inequality & inequity

img_4954If you turn to the person sitting near you right now and had to explain the difference between inequality and inequity, what would you say?  Continue reading “All in a name: inequality & inequity”