HIV/AIDS: Self-stigmatisation is the major killer – APIN official

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A Non-Governmental Organisation, the Association of Positive People living with HIV/Aids in Nigeria( APIN) has admonished positive patients to avoid ‘self stigmatization’.

Mr. Aaron Sunday, the National Coordinator of the Association, said on Friday in Kaduna that some people living positively were in the habit of stigmatizing themselves, thereby making things difficult.

“Self-stigmatisation happens when a person takes in the negative ideas and stereotypes about people living with HIV and starts to apply them to himself or herself.

“HIV internalized stigmatization leads to feelings of shame, fear of disclosure, isolation, and despair; self-stigmatization has over time hindered the progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS.,” he said.

According to him, self-stigmatization affects the lives of people with HIV/AIDS and thwarts prevention efforts, adding that the most striking implications of HIV self-stigmatization include reluctance to seek treatment/care and unwillingness to disclose HIV status.

He encouraged them to come out of self-stigmatization by engaging in social activities and joining a support group where they could express their views.

“l urged you all not to allow self-stigmatization to weigh you down; HIV does not kill; it is people who kill themselves when they allow depression to come through them,” he said.

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