The Hidden Epidemic: Fighting the Stigma of HIV/AIDS in Rural America

Kathier Hiers, CEO of AIDS Alabama, describes the U=U session at AIDSWatch 2017 in this powerful piece about HIV stigma:

‘I went to something that really choked me up,’ Hiers said. ‘It’s a new wave of what’s coming.’ The presentation was called ‘Undetectable = Untransmittable,’ and featured discussion of three major studies that have shown that HIV-positive people who are virally suppressed cannot transmit HIV. That knowledge should help revamp states’ criminalization laws, she said.

But the more profound impact might be an internal one to people living with HIV, she added.

‘It was so moving to see HIV-positive people change their perception of themselves. They don’t have to think of having sex as a loaded gun anymore. It’s really an encouragement for people to stay on theirs meds.’

Read the full article in Rural Health Quarterly.

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