16th International AIDS Conference


Toronto, Canada - August 13 - 18, 2006


ROLE OF NEPAL RED CROSS SOCIETY IN REDUCING STIGMA AND DISCRIMINATION TOWARDS INFECTED AND AFFECTED BY HIV/AIDS

Int Conf AIDS. 2006 Aug 13-18;16 Abstract No. WePE0331

P. Aryal1, K.C. Aryal2
1 Nepal Red Cross Society, Health Service, Kathmandu, Nepal, 2 Integrated Community Development Movement Nepal, Health Service, Kathmandu, Nepal


ISSUES: Stigma and discrimination have been creating strong barriers for implementing effective prevention interventions. Low level of awareness, lack of focused interventions, lack of availability of ARV, cultural values are major underlying causes of stigma and discrimination.

DESCRIPTION: Nepal Red Cross, a largest humanitarian organization in Nepal, has been implementing HIV/AIDS prevention programme in 30 districts of the kingdom since 1994. The major target group of the programme are adolescent, youth, migrant workers and most vulnerable people of the community particularly women. One of the objectives of the programme is to improve quality of life of People Living with HIV/AIDS through reducing stigma and discrimination and developing partnership with people living with HIV and AIDS. The society has given space to PLWHA organization in its Advisory Committee and promoting humanitarian values and Red Cross principle by organizing workshops, advocacy meetings, trainings and IEC campaign in different functions such as World AIDS day, Red Cross Day and Condom Day. The Society has developed its long-term strategy and adequate provision has been made for care and support and meaningful involvement of PLWHAs. The stigma and discrimination has been considered as violation of human rights and discrediting the people. Therefore, the Red Cross forum has proven best for promotion of humanitarian values and dignity. The society has created better home for PLWHAs.

LESSONS LEARNED: Stigma and discrimination are major barriers for utilizing services by People Living with HIV/AIDS. Promotion of humanitarian values and RC principles are appropriate actions to enter in the community Awareness about HIV/AIDS is needed to demystify issues around HIV/AIDS and create supportive environment.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Meaningful involvement of PLHAs is essential for organizing anti stigma and discrimination initiatives. Advocacy actions are vital tool to create supportive environment and protect rights of PLWHA. Programme has to be designed on the basis of holistic framework.

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2006-08-13
WePE0331


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