POZ - October 2009: The Trouble With Stigma

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October 2009: The Trouble With Stigma

Stigma continues to surround HIV/AIDS and those of us living with the virus. It prevents people from becoming educated about HIV, from getting tested for HIV, from seeking care and treatment for HIV and from disclosing their HIV status to others. Not to mention that stigma can seriously undermine your sense of freedom and happiness. Please tell us how HIV-related stigma affects you—and the choices you make in your life.
 
1. Do you think HIV-related stigma has diminished since the early days of the AIDS epidemic?
Yes, considerably
Yes, moderately
No, it has worsened
No, it has stayed about the same
 
2. Has fear of HIV-related stigma prevented you from disclosing to: (Check all that apply.)
Immediate family members
Extended family members
Friends
Coworkers
Your boss
Health care professionals
Potential sexual partners
A police officer
Your hairdresser
A massage therapist
Parents of your children's friends
Your children's teachers or school staff
A fellow member of a sports team
 
3. How comfortable are you telling other people that you are living with HIV?
Moderately comfortable
Comfortable
Very comfortable
Not comfortable
So uncomfortable I haven't told anyone
 
4. Do you ever feel discriminated against by those to whom you have disclosed?
Yes
No
Sometimes
 
5. How do you most frequently deal with negative reactions when you disclose? (Check one.)
I become sad
I become scared
I become depressed
I get angry
I become withdrawn
I don't let them get to me
I try to educate others about HIV and change their minds
 
6. In most cases in which you have disclosed, how have people treated you?
They treated me better
They treated me worse
They treated me the same
 
7. If you have been treated differently, how? (Check all that apply.)
People avoid me
People judge me negatively and are less friendly
People are overly nice and solicitous
People are more anxious about casual contact
People are supportive and kind
 
8. Do you think that HIV-positive people's fear of being stigmatized is worse than the actual stigma?
Yes
No
 
9. Are President Obama and his administration doing enough to combat stigma around HIV/AIDS?
Yes
No
 
10. Do you think the HIV/AIDS community is doing enough to combat AIDS stigma?
Yes
No
 
11. Has the fear of being stigmatized made dating/relationships more difficult?
Yes
No
 
12. Has the fear of being stigmatized adversely affected your career?
Yes
No
 
13. Has fear of being stigmatized ever prevented you from seeking care, treatment or support?
Yes
No
 
14. Has the fear of stigma kept others from entering into a serious relationship with you?
Yes
No
 
15. Do you think the fear of stigma surrounding HIV prevents people from getting romantically serious with/getting married to people living with HIV?
Yes
No
 
16. Do you think antidiscrimination laws protect HIV-positive people from being stigmatized?
Yes
No
 
17. What is your gender?
Male
Female
Transgender
Other
 
18. What is your sexual orientation?
Straight
Gay/Lesbian
Bisexual
Other
 
19. What is your ethnicity (Check all that apply.)
American Indian or Alaska Native
Arab or Middle Easternn
Asian
Black or African American
Hispanic or Latino
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander
White
(please specify) 
 
20. What is your ZIP code?
 
21. In the space below, please share any experiences that you have had with HIV-related stigma. (500 characters max.) If more space is required, please send an e-mail to stigma@poz.com.



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