BY SUSAN BABIJJA, 25 JUNE 2012
Stigma is an underlying factor hindering youth living with HIV in the three urban districts of Nyarugenge, Kicukiro and Gasabo from disclosing their sero status, a new report says.
The report, released last week by the Youth Association for Human Rights Promotion and Development (AJPRODHO- JIJUKIRWA), also says people living with the virus are denied the right to inherit property on perception that they are destined to die soon.
“Youth who are HIV positive are blamed for being responsible for their plight, nicknamed, rendered useless in society, restricted from participating in family activities and sometimes rejected by their family members,” the report says.
The association which is also implementing a project to empower Youth Human Rights Organisations and the Justice Sector to mainstream HIV in Kigali; released its findings of a survey that aimed at examining the current status of discrimination, stigma and human rights violation against people living with HIV (PLWH).
The association’s Executive Secretary, said a lot more needs to be done to fight against stigma.
“It is so dangerous for people infected by HIV not to come out and give this information. This simply means that such people will not even get access to treatment through programmes in place to fight HIV,” he said.
He pointed out that PLWH need to be supported, adding that discrimination fixes them in a very difficult position.
The survey had a total 231 respondents, including 176 female and 55 male who are members of associations and cooperatives of PLWH.