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How Some Development Agencies' Discourse Purports to Fight but Actually Perpetuates the Stigmatization of HIV and AIDS

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The Pediatric AIDS Coalition at UCLA Cause Education Committee – How Some Development Agencies' Discourse Purports to Fight but Actually Perpetuates the Stigmatization of HIV and AIDS

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How Some Development Agencies' Discourse Purports to Fight but Actually Perpetuates the Stigmatization of HIV and AIDS

  1. 1. How Some Development Agencies’ Discourse Purports to Fight but Actually Perpetuates the Stigmatization of HIV/AIDS Maddie Powell
  2. 2. Research Question How might development agencies who are not primarily focused on the fight against HIV/AIDS but have programs that seek to serve those living with HIV/AIDS be employing discourse that actually perpetuates HIV/AIDS-related stigma? Examples of organizations researched: Clinton Foundation’s “Clinton Global Initiative”, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, World Health Organization
  3. 3. Research Goals ● Gain a deeper understanding of the discourse employed by organizations many people worldwide depend on for information and support ● Assess how everyone - myself included - could be better about how we discuss HIV/AIDS ● Highlight instances in which language - or lack thereof - could be perpetuating stigma more than it is combating it ● Challenge us all to consider the impact of the words we use to inform our actions
  4. 4. 3 Identified Areas of Stigmatization 1. Explicitly stigmatizing language 2. Misuse of language and terminology relating to HIV/AIDS, suggesting a lack of care and/or expertise in handling the topic 3. Omission of any information about the deeply stigmatized history of HIV/AIDS
  5. 5. Conclusions ● Without an emphasis on anti-stigma rhetoric, development organizations are doing more harm than good by further isolating those living with HIV/AIDS and reducing the likelihood that they will benefit from the treatment opportunities the organizations seek to provide. ● Considering the power of language: we have a responsibility to highlight, question, and challenge stigmatizing language, not only in our everyday experiences, but also from organizations that might be seeking to serve but sometimes stigmatizing in the process.
  6. 6. Thank you so much for listening! Comments or questions?

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