A situational analysis of HIV/AIDS-related discrimination in Kerala, India

AIDS Care. 2005 Jul:17 Suppl 2:S141-51. doi: 10.1080/09540120500120070.


Due to its large population, India has a substantial proportion of the world's HIV infections. Recent evidence suggests that the virus is moving into the general population from high-risk groups. Despite this, a mentality of 'us' and 'them' continues to prevail, where PLWHA are marginalised from mainstream society. Focusing on the area of health care, this study, through an analysis of legislative policy, written regulations and interviews with key informants and direct witnesses aims to map the forms of structural discrimination that inform the lives of PLWHA. Study findings indicate that a lack of clearly enunciated and enforced legislation (which is in some instances clearly discriminatory), coupled with an absence of written internal policy, leaves room for selective interpretation, which in turn creates the opportunities for discriminatory behaviours to be perpetuated against PLWHA. The paper concludes with a call for better educational training of medical staff and the improvement of existing legislature.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / psychology
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • Health Policy / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Health Services Accessibility / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Humans
  • India
  • Male
  • Prejudice*