The challenge of HIV : social stigma or disability?

MCTIGUE, Peter
Publication Date 
November 2010

"The nature of discrimination against people living with HIV and with AIDS ('PLHA') is rooted in deeper stigmatisation than discrimination against other groups. Reasons for this include the association of HIV/AIDS with behaviours that may be considered socially unacceptable by many people. To combat such discrimination, HIV is deemed to be a 'disability' under the Equality Act 2010. Whilst this protection has been welcomed by various activists and policy groups within the field, it will be argued that the decision to classify HIV as a disability is an inadequate response to the unique and multi-faceted discrimination faced by PLHA. To achieve this this article will examine the history of the virus; current epidemiology within the UK; the extent to which HIV accords with traditional models of disability and the definition employed by the Equality Act 2010; and finally, the manner in which HIV is socially constructed and how this has compounded discrimination against PLHA"
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