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“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”

Public Health & Infectious Diseases

We offer a monthly newsletter dealing with the various issues surrounding infectious diseases.  To find out more click HERE.



Main topics can be found within the left column; sub-topics and/or research reports can be found near the bottom of this page.  Thank you


"HIV/AIDS is not merely a medical problem: the manner in which the virus is impacting upon society reveals the intricate way in which social, economic, cultural, political and legal factors act together to make certain sections of society more vulnerable. The epidemic exposes the method and the impact of marginalisation and inequality in clear terms.

Marginalised groups in our society have little or no access to basic fundamental and Human Rights such as food, medical services and information. Many of these groups are ostracised by society at large, and their lifestyles criminalized, making it practically impossible for them to participate in mainstream processes whereby they could demand their rights. Coupled with this dismal situation, there is minimal awareness about HIV and no real options for safer lifestyles. The stark reality of the HIV/AIDS epidemic is thus that people are becoming HIV positive because they have no access to basic fundamental Human Rights. For the same reasons, the impact of infection is a lot graver for those with no access to rights. It is time to recognise this link between marginalisation, Human Rights and vulnerability.

It is also time to recognise that the HIV/AIDS epidemic itself has given rise to a range of Human Rights violations. The refusal of treatment, denial of access to essential drugs including antiretroviral therapy, discrimination in the health care and employment sectors, women being deprived of their rights and thrown out of their homes etc are just some examples of these violations. Apart form having a serious impact on the lives of people living with HIV, these violations are pushing the epidemic underground. Unless these Human Rights violations are addressed, there cannot be the creation of an enabling environment, where people come forward to access health and other services, or even get tested.

There is also a need to understand the exact manner in which factors of gender, caste, region, class, sexual orientation influence the impact of these Human Rights issues for different sections of society. Along with social and economic factors, there are laws, which complicate the influence of these factors. To understand these different contexts would be the first step in addressing the problems they entail." Report of the National Conference on Human Rights and HIV/AIDS


Document Name & Link to Document Description

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A Call For Community: Two Papers on HIV and AIDS Related Stigma in Africa


It is widely recognized that HIV/AIDS-related stigma is both widespread and a significant obstacle to the provision of effective care and prevention measures. Beyond that statement, however, little is certain in terms of how pervasive HIV/AIDS-related stigma is, what its causes are, what forms it takes and what steps can be taken to reduce or eliminate it in the many different settings in which it occurs. Indeed, it is possible that the word stigma itself is inappropriate or does not cover the full range of negative actions and attitudes that may be directed towards people living with HIV/AIDS or are otherwise identified with the disease. Pdf 486 kb

A jihad against Aids

If the best vehicle for educating a Muslim population about Aids is one that carries authority, enjoys mass reach and possesses the power to convince, who better than the person who leads prayers at a mosque?


Addressing HIV-Related Stigma and Discrimination in Africa

ICRW and its in-country partners are investigating how HIV/AIDS-related stigma is manifested in a community context. By focusing on the community and its institutions - health facilities, the workplace, schools, and religious groups - as the basis for analysis, ICRW and its partners will gain an understanding of those factors that perpetuate or mitigate stigma and create barriers to HIV prevention, care, and support efforts.


Addressing Stigma in Implementing HIV/AIDS Unless stigma is addressed, effective implementation of an HIV/AIDS policy is impossible. This paper describes the experience of ACORD Uganda in their efforts to implement an effective workplace policy. It focuses in particular on the importance of addressing stigma within the organisation - both as an objective of the policy itself and as a prerequisite of its effective implementation. Pdf 257 kb

Administration Targets AIDS Prevention

The Bush administration has pulled information about the effectiveness of condoms from a government Web site and is engaged in a "witch hunt" against those who promote condoms in the fight against AIDS, several groups charged Monday.


Adoption Agency Admits HIV Discrimination In the first known case in the country challenging a private adoption agency’s refusal to provide services to a couple because one of them is HIV-positive, a new York couple has settled a lawsuit charging Children of the World, an adoption agency licensed in new Jersey and new York, with violating federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities, including HIV/AIDS. 103 kb pdf

AIDS & Communication Issues

Presentation by W Ssany-Sseruma—African HIV Policy Network

Pdf 95 kb

AIDS Communication-An International view

HIV/AIDS requires attention to sexuality, not just sex and its biological consequences


AIDS edict fuels dispute

Man with disease banned from using pool at mobile home park


AIDS/HIV Disease and Socio-Culturally Diverse Populations Culture embodies the values, attitudes, beliefs and practices of a group as well as its roles and structures, communication styles, technology, art, and artifacts. The numbers of reported cases of AIDS/HIV disease are dramatically increasing in some ethnic and minority groups.  

Aids orphans 'to double'

The number of children orphaned by Aids will almost double to 25m by the end of the decade, experts predict.


AIDS-case studies - conceptual

This paper presents outline accounts of some social and economic features of the HIV/AIDS epidemics in five countries

Pdf 71 kb

Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)

The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that ensures equal opportunity in employment, public accommodations, transportation, state and local government services and telecommunications for people with disabilities.


Analysis of the policies, pronouncements-stigma in Nigeria

(Large report-increased down-load time)

The international community had long recognized the limiting effect of HIV-related stigma and discrimination on the control of HIV/AIDS. It is known to undermine the ability of individuals, families and societies to protect themselves and provide support and reassurance to those affected  

Analytical Review of Quarantine! : East European Jewish immigrants and the New York City epidemics of 1892

Howard Markel's Quarantine! examines the typhus fever and cholera epidemics that struck New York City in early and late 1892, respectively. Because typhus fever was traced to a boat load of Russian Jewish immigrants, Jews from throughout Eastern Europe were stigmatized. Only months after typhus fever struck the city, the cholera epidemic began. While the second disease appeared more widespread, the Eastern European Jews were once again blamed. A history of the political, health, immigration, and discrimination issues of the year, the book is aimed at a broad audience from high-schoolers to adults  
Antecedents of Attitudes Toward the Poor This study assessed attitudes toward the poor using just-world beliefs, external/structural attributions for poverty, and internal/individualistic attributions for wealth as predictors. Just-world beliefs are the extent to which people believe the world is a just or unjust place, and that people get what they deserve. High levels of just-world beliefs frequently contribute to schemas that are associated with victim blaming (e.g., the rape victim must have done something to provoke it). Attributions are indicators of the characteristics (or traits, motives, etc.) that people ascribe to themselves or others. This study assessed internal/individualistic attributions for wealth (e.g., ambition, perseverance, etc.), and external/structural attributions for poverty (e.g., no benefits, low paying jobs, etc.). The significance of holding just-world beliefs and of making internal attributions for wealth and external attributions for poverty in relationship to attitudes toward the poor was analyzed using multiple regression analysis to predict attitudes toward poor persons. In the sample (N = 112), just-world beliefs were found to be a significant predictor of attitudes toward the poor. Participants having high just-world beliefs had negative attitudes toward the poor, and participants who believed the world is unjust had more positive attitudes toward the poor. Attributions for poverty and wealth were not found to be significant predictors of attitudes toward the poor.  
Beyond the Shadow A morbid sense of fear was quickly created in the minds of people about the infection and this is commonly depicted with the “skull and crossbones” image, HIV-positive people were /believed to be “dead but living” people. The term “they” as opposed to “us” became the norm when referring to PLWH as no one wants to be associated with HIV, let alone being infected!  “No, it cannot happen to me; neither can it occur among us.  It is a disease found among them, the promiscuous, the irresponsible, the poor, etc.” Pdf 585 kb
Big Issues In Brief Scaling up responses to HIV/AIDS Stigma looms large and ominous, shadowing the HIV/AIDS pandemic. It relates to every HIV intervention, including general prevention, the prevention of mother-to-child transmission, antiretroviral treatment, and care and support for the patient and family, including children. On an institutional level, stigma plays a major role, affecting the ability of public health workers to prevent infection, to treat and to help people living with HIV/AIDS, and to assist loved ones in managing and coping with the condition. On a personal level, stigma can mean loneliness, abandonment, ostracism, violence, starvation, and death. Pdf 206 kb


Testimony before the Subcommittee on Government Efficiency, Financial Management, and Intergovernmental Relations

1,229 kb pdf

Breaking the silence - Stigma, discrimination and HIV/AIDS
Hers is not the sort of life anyone would wish on his or her
 worst enemy. To describe it as rough would be an 

Budget Would Cut Medicaid Payments

Pres Bush's budget would rein in growth of Medicaid by reducing payments to public hospitals and cracking down on state efforts to get additional federal money; administration refers to 'closing loopholes' and 'abusive practices,'


CDC Hindered by GOP Oversight

Bush administration audits of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have provoked complaints from center officials who say the requests are hindering the organization's ability to effectively execute HIV prevention programs.


Celebrating Erving Goffman Stigma leads us from the total institution back to everyday life, but now we are armed with a vision of how the self can be deeply discredited even if not entirely destroyed. Stigma is "The Presentation of Discredited Self in Everyday Life."  

Cohesiveness of society

Civil society is a distinct realm of modern human experience: family, friends, neighbors, and citizens. It is the social glue that holds a country together and includes the strength of families, community voluntarism, interest groups, philanthropic associations, friendships, selflessness, public and civic spirit—the moral elements of society

326 kb pdf

Coping with Stigma How should we deal with stigma and its impacts?  This question would probably seem absurd to an ancient Greek, about to brand someone with a visible mark to signify that this person was immoral or dangerous and thus undesirable, someone to be denigrated and avoided.  Stigmatization in ancient Greece was a form of risk management.  Even today, stigmatization can be a positive force for risk reduction pdf


Participants indicated that they experience stigma and isolation related to moral judgments people make about the sexual nature of the work they do. Some spoke of hiding the nature of the work they do as a strategy to cope with the stigma attached to sex work. Eleven of the seventeen participants indicated that they try to keep the work they do secret and eight indicated that they lie about what they do. Stigma emerged as a significant barrier to help seeking and was found to hinder access to both informal and formal sources of support. Pdf 924 kb
Costs & results of Information Systems Costs and results of Information systems for poverty monitoring, health sector reform, and local government reform in Tanzania 1,071 kb pdf
Counteracting Stigma in Sexual Health Care Settings Sexual health clinics and the people who visit them commonly face stigma. Sexually transmitted infections have historically been used to divide people into "clean" and "dirty". A grounded theory study of the work of sixteen nurses in six Sexual Health services in New Zealand was undertaken to explore the management of sexual health care. The study uncovered the psychological impact of negative social attitudes towards the people who visit sexual health services and to the staff who work there. Sexual health nurses manage the results of stigma daily and reveal in their interactions with clients a process of destigmatisation.  

Cure versus care

The term 'Quality of Life' is often heard... and said at the Hospice to remind us of our main aim and purpose. As most of our patients have been diagnosed with a terminal disease, further treatment is often inappropriate and cure is not always an option.


Democracy, Dictatorship, and Infant mortality

Explains the relationship between these three issues

94 kb pdf

Disclosure of HIV Infection Among Asian/Pacific Islander American Women For Asians/Pacific Islanders, disclosure of HIV may be particularly difficult because of its association with death, illness, drugs, and homosexuality, topics deemed to be "taboo" in Asian cultures  
Discrimination: Yes. People who are HIV-positive or who have AIDS are protected from employment discrimination under both the Connecticut Human Rights Law (CGSA §46a-60) and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Both of these statutes prohibit discrimination in employment on the basis of a person’s disability.  
Don’t treat me like I have leprosy We all have prejudices.  Even the most fair-minded of us will at times harbour irrational stereotypes of people who are in some way different. 422 kb pdf
Editorial attacks shift away from condoms in HIV prevention The authors also note that although condoms are extremely cost effective, their importance to HIV prevention seems to have been forgotten in the push for global treatment access, and that other substantial obstacles still exist to effective condom distribution schemes.  
Effectiveness of Various IEC in Improving Awareness and Reducing Stigma Related to HIV/AIDS Among School going Teenagers Stigma is defined as a ‘significantly discrediting attribute’ possessed by a person with an ‘undesired difference’.  Stigma is a common human reaction to disease.  Throughout history many diseases have carried considerable stigma, including leprosy, tuberculosis, cancer, mental illness and many STDs. Now HIV/AIDS is the topmost in the list of diseases to be stigmatized. Pdf 259 kb


The July 2002 Health Policy and Ethics Forum on ethics in public health research and practice addresses a number of thorny issues facing public health institutions. One of the most fundamental issues confronting public health workers is the problem of protecting confidentiality in public health activities. This problem raises the question of what is and what is not research in the public health arena.


EVERYBODY HAS AN HIV STATUS! Has stigma kept you from knowing yours? Stigma keeps people who are HIV- infected from getting the care they need, and from feeling safe in their own communities. At the same time, stigma allows others to deny that they personally are likely to be infected or affected by HIV. This denial makes people who are infected seem abnormal, and it becomes easier to believe that they are "different," that HIV only happens someplace else. Not true, at all.  
Evolved Disease-Avoidance Processes and Contemporary Anti-social Behavior: Prejudicial attitudes and avoidance of People with Physical Disabilities Drawing on evolutionary psychological logic, we describe a model that links evolved mechanisms of disease-avoidance to contemporary prejudices against individuals with physical disabilities.  Because contagious diseases were often accompanied by anomalous physical features, humans plausibly evolved psychological mechanisms that respond heuristically to the perception of these features, triggering specific emotions (disgust, anxiety), cognitions (negative attitudes), and behaviours (avoidance). 130 kb pdf
EXAMPLES OF DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT Impairment in pre-work, Race discrimination in work, Pregnancy discrimination and victimization at work, Prospective employee asked age at interview, Race discrimination,  Young worker harassed at work, Sex discrimination and sexual harassment Pdf 285 kb
Examples of Stigma and Discrimination Examples of Stigma in Life situations  
Examples of Stigma and Discrimination The workplace remains a potentially unsafe environment for people with HIV/AIDS, whether they are currently at work, returning to work, or looking for work for the first time. 65 kb pdf

For world, arrogance instead of help

The Bush administration never seems more out of touch with global reality than when it wades into issues of population control.


Former Maryland governor wants public registry for people with AIDS
``People should know if they are around people with AIDS,'' said 
Schaefer, a former governor and mayor of Baltimore. ``I feel it's 
absolutely necessary that a registry be set up. It (AIDS) is 
an epidemic in Africa and it's an epidemic here.''
Gender, AIDS, and ARV Therapies-ensuring that women gain equitable access to drugs Given limited resources, choices will inevitable be made about who will be treated and when, raising the issues of equity in access to treatment for sub-groups of those infected 181 kb pdf
GLOBAL APPEAL TO END STIGMA AND DISCRIMINATION AGAINST PEOPLE AFFECTED BY LEPROSY Leprosy is among the world’s oldest and most dreaded diseases. Without an effective remedy for much of its long history, it often resulted in terrible deformity. It was also thought to be extremely communicable. Patients were abandoned, forced to live in isolation and discriminated against as social outcasts. Pdf 177 kb
HIV/AIDS and Human Rights
Discrimination adds to the daily struggles faced by the growing number
 of people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States—people who are 
predominantly poor and disproportionately African American or Latino/a.  
Almost every agency told us that the biggest problems facing their clients 
involve meeting basic needs—coping with poverty, hunger, illiteracy, 
inadequate medical care, lack of transportation, and homelessness…
Individuals living with HIV/AIDS need to know their rights and need to  
resources to advocate for themselves when their rights are threatened
1153 kb pdf

HIV Mandatory Test May lead to False Security

MANDATORY testing may lead to false security in the military that an HIV/AIDS free environment has been created,


HIV/AIDS-related Stigma and Discrimination: A Conceptual Framework and an Agenda for Actions—Horizon Report

Jonathan Mann identified three phases of the HIV/AIDS epidemic: the epidemic of HIV, the epidemic of AIDS, and the epidemic of stigma, discrimination, and denial

511 kb pdf

HIV/AIDS-related Stigma and Discrimination-Asia HIV / AIDS - related stigma and discrimination (S&D) not only make life unbearable for the estimated 4.2 million people living with the virus in South Asia. S&D are regarded by many as the greatest barriers preventing further HIV infections, providing adequate care, support and treatment  
HIV/AIDS Stigma: The Latest Dirty Secret The rejection of HIV/AIDS stigma is based on the understanding that all acts of social exclusion relating to HIV/AIDS are not only morally wrong but also counterproductive to effective HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment 191 kb pdf
HIV-Related Stigma and Knowledge in the United States: Prevalence and Trends, 1991-1999 Overt expressions of stigma declined throughout the 1990s, with support for its most extreme and coercive forms (e.g., quarantine) at very low levels by 1999. However, inaccurate beliefs about the risks posed by casual social contact increased, as did the belief that people with AIDS (PWAs) deserve their illness  
HIV/AIDS Stigma A number of studies have provided evidence that stigma is associated with delays in HIV testing by people who are at high risk of being infected with HIV 275 kb pdf
Human rights abuses & HIV transmission to girls The catastrophe of HIV/AIDS in Africa, which ahs already claimed over 18 million lives on that continent, has hit girls and women harder than boys and men.  In many countries of eastern and southern Africa, HIV prevalence among girls under age eighteen is four to seven times higher than among boys the same age, an unusual disparity that means a lower average age of death from AIDS, as well as more deaths overall, among women than men 607 kb pdf
In 1987, Surgeon General C. Everett Koop publicly recommended
 that people use condoms to prevent the transmission of HIV, which
 develops in to AIDS. Some conservative Christian organizations 
attacked his stance. Phyllis Schlafly of Eagle Forum accused him 
of promoting "safe fornication with condoms" as "a cover-up for the 
homosexual community." Conservative anti-tobacco advocate and a 
close colleague of Koop defended the Surgeon General. She said: 
"I hate to be in a public debate with Phyllis Schlafly, since we have 
a lot of things in common. But she is wrong about Dr. Koop....In 
everything I've read in Dr. Koop's written speeches, he stresses 
monogamy as the first line of defense against AIDS."
Illness, Stigma and AIDS Imagine a disease that arouses great fear throughout the United States, especially in New York and other large cities where it is rampant.  Imagine that the disease has no cure and is fatal to most people who manifest its symptoms.  Physicians prescribe a variety of treatments but with little success Pdf 119 kb
Impact of Armed conflict on Child Development The impact of armed conflict cannot be fully understood without looking at the related effects on women, families and the community support systems that provide protection and a secure environment for development. Children's well-being is best ensured through family and community-based solutions that draw on local culture and an understanding of child development.  

Impact of Faith-based organizations

Recently faith-based organizations have generated increasing interest as agents for preventing and mitigating the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Pdf 503 kb

INDONESIA care-Unaids care and support Providing care and support for HIV-positive people, eliminating discrimination and stigma, and promoting the involvement of people living with HIV/AIDS in the response to the epidemic are priorities for government, donor and nongovernmental organizations and HIV positive people's support groups 65 kb pdf

Influence of the Church in Bringing About Change

Statistics of HIV/AIDS prevalence in Namibia are not impressive. The figures are worrying. However, a holistic approach to fighting the pandemic may reverse the trend, if the ongoing efforts are maintained or intensified. Led by the Lutheran Church in the country, religious organizations have assumed a major role in this endeavor


Integrating Ethnomedicine Into Public Health

From an anthropological perspective, ethnomedicine—meaning the folk medicines of specific ethnic groups—depends on location. Preliterate indigenous populations used plants that were available in their local environments to treat illness and promote health.


International Organizations of Medical Sciences-Ethical Guidelines

The Guidelines relate mainly to ethical justification and scientific validity of research; ethical review; informed consent; vulnerability ­ of individuals, groups, communities and populations; women as research subjects; equity regarding burdens and benefits; choice of control in clinical trials; confidentiality; compensation for injury; strengthening of national or local capacity for ethical review; and obligations of sponsors to provide health-care services


Interventions to reduce HIV stigma

This paper reviews 21 interventions that have explicitly attempted to decrease AIDS stigma both in the developed and developing countries and 9 studies that aim to decrease stigma related with other diseases

Pdf 689 kb

Interventions to Reduce HIV/AIDS Stigma: What Have we Learned?

This paper reviews 21 interventions that have explicitly attempted to decrease AIDS stigma both in the developed and developing countries and 9 studies that aim to decrease stigma related with other diseases.


Interventions to Reduce HIV/AIDS Stigma: What Have we Learned?—Horizon Report

Stigma is a common human reaction to disease. Throughout history man diseases have carried considerable stigma, including leprosy, tuberculosis, cancer, mental illness, and many STDs. HIV/AIDS is only the latest disease to be stigmatized

609 kb pdf

Interventions: Research on Reducing Stigma

The term stigma has many associations and implications rooted in history, social science, and public health, but the historical concept of physical stigmata and the sociological framework of deviance and social interactions fall short of research needs for guiding desirable public health interventions to reduce stigma. 


Keeping the Public in the Dark

People cannot be trusted to make judgments about the scientific process, therefore, truthful information about scientists and their potential biases must be kept secret. Mum’s the word. Such paternalism is curious coming from conservatives, unless the subtext is to champion profit over integrity





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