Fear surrounding HIV started back in the 1980s when there was little to no information surrounding it. The fear grew and spread, leading to rumors and misinformation that continue to come up even today, despite all the advances made in treatment and prevention. Not only has it led to society-based stigma, but also it affects individuals through "internalized stigma" in which an individual applies the negative stereotypes or ideas about HIV to themselves.
This can lead to feelings of shame, fear of sharing or disclosing their status, isolation, and depression. It’s one of the reasons why we see a resistance to seeking information or even testing for HIV. But we can stop this. By discussing HIV and taking action to share accurate information, we can show that HIV is NOT a stigma and anyone living with HIV should not be discriminated against. Here are some examples of the type of stigma and discrimination surrounding HIV: