Discrimination against people with HIV and hepatitis persists

11302555Of the 1,080 HIV-positive people or hepatitis interviewed by the Aides association, nearly 30% report having been discriminated against during the past year in their emotional, family, sexual and medical lives, according to this published survey On the eve of World AIDS Day. Nearly half of them said they had been rejected in their emotional, family and sexual lives, and almost a quarter had been discriminated against in the medical community.

Precariousness also emerges as a major source of discrimination, notes the association for the defense of the sick in its report 2016 entitled “HIV / hepatitis (VHV), the hidden face of discrimination”.

Inequalities in access to care
One in ten respondents (all serologs: HIV, hepatitis C, etc.) said they were confronted with the refusal of care during the last 24 months and, “not surprisingly the dentists, the most frequently cited” association. By 2015, a “testing” in dental and gynecological offices was already pointing this finger at this phenomenon. In 2016, Aides’ VHV survey shows that 23.6% of people living with HIV and 27.3% with hepatitis who have been discriminated against have been dismissed by caregivers.

The sanctions of the caregivers concerned are extremely rare, notes Aides, considering that the length and the complexity of the judicial procedures put off most victims.

But thanks to the collective lawsuits for discrimination, a step forward in the law “Justice of the twenty-first century” adopted in October 2016, their efforts to claim the damage and obtain redress will be facilitated, underlines the association.

The threat of isolation
Aides also deplores the extent of the rejection of seropositive in the sexual field, resulting from a “lack of knowledge of the highly preventive effect of treatment”. 86% of people on HIV treatment have a viral load (concentration of the virus in the blood) undetectable, she recalls. This corresponds to a risk of contamination “almost zero even in the case of an unprotected relationship or rupture of the condom”.

To make it known, the association launched a poster campaign called “Revelations”. Discharges alter the quality of life and away from care. HIV-positive people are twice as likely as other respondents to rate this quality of life as “very bad” (3.8% vs. 1.9%) and feel more isolated (39% feel “rather lonely” or “Very lonely”, against 23.8% for the others).

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