Toolkit released to combat HIV-related stigma and discrimination

Update: November, 28/2018 - 19:00
Participants attends a ceremory to launch a toolkit on combating stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV on the ocassion of the World AIDS Day (December 1). — Photo courtesy of HAIVN
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — A toolkit to help eliminate stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV (PLHIV), was launched today as part of activities to celebrate World AIDS Day (December 1) in Việt Nam.

The event was organised by the Hà Nội Medical University in collaboration with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Partnership for Health Advancement in Việt Nam (HAIVN).

The toolkit is based on the idea K=K – (Không phát hiện = Không lây truyền) or U=U (Undetectable = Untransmittable in English) – with the core message: “I’m positive, he/she will never be.”

The toolkit includes a K=K logo, posters, videos, infographics and handbook for sharing in print and through social media.

The U=U statement has been recognised or endorsed by more than 782 medical and community-based organisations in more than 95 countries. The statement builds on evidence-based research demonstrating that HIV treatment is highly effective in reducing forward HIV transmission and that people living with HIV on ARV (antiretroviral) treatment with an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of sexual transmission.

“This is a truly transformational message which will change the lives of people living with HIV around the world. The K=K toolkit is expected to be shared widely among the community and be effective in combatting HIV-related stigma and discrimination,” said Dr Todd Pollack, Country Director of HAIVN.

“We’ve long known that with effective treatment, people living with HIV can live full, healthy productive lives. We now know—conclusively—that daily adherence to this therapy means that HIV cannot be transmitted to sexual partners. This is joyful, life-altering information for persons with HIV, their sexual partners, and their families,” said Dr John Blandford, Country Director of CDC in Việt Nam.

The toolkit will be shared among PLHIV, the LGBTQI community, public health and community-based agencies, and through clinics, medical centres and social media channels to raise awareness. — VNS