AIDS-related discrimination in Asia

AIDS Care. 2005 May;17(4):413-24. doi: 10.1080/09540120412331299807.


The Asia Pacific Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (APN+) conducted the first regional documentation of AIDS-related discrimination in Asia. This project was an action-based, peer-implemented study that aimed to develop an understanding of the nature, pattern and extent of AIDS-related discrimination in several Asian countries. Trained HIV-positive people interviewed 764 positive people in four countries (India 302; Indonesia 42; Thailand 338; the Philippines 82) using a structured questionnaire. Findings indicate that the major area of discrimination in each country is within the health sector, where over half of those surveyed experienced some form of discrimination. In all countries, the majority of people did not receive pre-test counselling before being tested for HIV. People who reported coerced testing were significantly more likely than other respondents to face subsequent AIDS-related discrimination. A considerable number of respondents were refused treatment after being diagnosed with HIV and many experienced delayed provision of treatment or health services. Breaches of confidentiality by health workers were common. Within the family and the community, women were significantly more likely to experience discrimination than men, including ridicule and harassment, physical assault and being forced to change their place of residence because of their HIV status. These findings have serious implications, particularly in light of the increasing trend in many countries to test all pregnant women in order to prevent transmission of HIV to their unborn children.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / psychology*
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / therapy
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Asia
  • Delivery of Health Care / standards
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility* / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prejudice*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires