Has it really taken our world health leaders 25 years of this plague to figure this out? I suppose I shouldn't be cynical, but it does seem obvious to me that if HIV positive people are stigmatized, they do not creep away to leper colonies but they remain underground in the general population, and in their despair, relinquish hope of better living . The consequences of that can only be disastrous for all of us and a pitiful waste of the most valuable resource. Of course there should be support and openness and a holistic approach to living the HIV positive life. Of course those who are positive are the crucial team members needed to fight this plague.
Now that I think about it, there are probably many programs in third world cultures (and perhaps in our own) that have marginalized the victims of HIV rather than utilize them as an asset in the battle. Maybe because I live in a world of friends and acquaintances who are vital and integral participants in my life - and only also happen to be HIV positive - I take these concepts for granted.
In April, in Tunisia, the Global Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (GNP+) and UNAIDS held a joint consultation on positive prevention in which people living with HIV were the focus of the strategies discussed. The participants devised a comprehensive program called Positive Health, Dignity and Prevention (PHDP).
The PHDP strategy calls for strengthening the leadership role of HIV positive persons in the prevention field.
I guess I am forgetting that in the earlier years of the plague, no one talked about standards of living and human rights of HIV positive people because they were rarely living long enough to need those basic circumstances. No one considered HIV positive people as team members because they were too debilitated to be helpful. So much has changed.
Wisdom comes to us at its own speed.
The Global Network of People living with HIV (GNP+) is a global network for and by people living with HIV that advocates to improve the quality of life of people living with HIV.
UNAIDS is an innovative joint venture of the United Nations, bringing together the efforts and resources of the UNAIDS Secretariat and ten UN system organizations in the AIDS response.