People living with HIV should not be stigmatized and discriminated against


September 16, 2022

There are still posts on social networks in which people living with HIV are attacked and insulted because of the diagnosis, which is extremely unacceptable.

In this regard, the Kazakh Scientific Center of Dermatology and Infectious Diseases (KNCDIZ) of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan categorically condemns the negative attitude towards people living with HIV, which leads to stigma and discrimination.

HIV infection has long passed into the category of chronic diseases. Today, as a result of the support by the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan of the ongoing systemic preventive measures, the situation on the prevalence of HIV infection in the country remains, according to the World Health Organization, in a concentrated stage.

In Kazakhstan, the UNAIDS 95-95-95 strategy is being implemented, which is aimed at providing prevention, testing, treatment and care in connection with HIV infection. In 2021, Kazakhstan joined the Global Partnership initiative to Eliminate All Forms of Stigma and Discrimination Associated with HIV Infection. The elimination of all forms of stigmatization and discrimination plays a key role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and Targets by 2030. The Code "On the Health of the People and the Healthcare System" guarantees social and legal protection to people living with HIV.

We would like to emphasize that the terms "AIDS carriers", "VICHY" and others contradict the policy of WHO, UNAIDS and universal values. No one can be infringed on their rights because of diagnosis, sexual orientation, skin color, race.

Kazakhstan is a secular civilized state, so the stigma associated with diseases is unacceptable. It is the stigma that contributes to the spread of HIV infection. Stigma is the main cause of discrimination in society, violations of the rights of people living with HIV, representatives of key groups – people who use drugs, men who have sex with men, sex workers, transgender people.

- " Because of the stigma, people are afraid to be tested, seek treatment, limit themselves in communication, stop making plans for life. We express our support to non-governmental organizations and civil society activists, in partnership with whom we are fighting stigma and discrimination in the field of HIV and implementing the UNAIDS 95-95-95 strategy," emphasizes Asylkhan Abishev, Director of the CNDDIZ.

KNCDIZ informs that for 8 months of 2022, due to the increase in migration flows, including citizens of the Russian Federation, to Kazakhstan, there has been no deterioration in the epidemiological situation of HIV infection. Given that it is not transmitted by airborne droplets, like COVID-19, and according to the Code, foreign citizens, including citizens of the Russian Federation, can undergo free HIV testing on an anonymous or confidential basis, there is no need to introduce quarantine measures.

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