'Batswana discriminate against HIV+ patients'

Sample of HIV testing
Sample of HIV testing

A recent study by government has shown that Batswana continue to discriminate against those who are living with HIV. This was revealed by the Assistant Minister of Health, Setlhomo Lelatisitswe at the World AIDS Day commemoration.

The event was held in Nata under the theme, 'Let Communities Lead'. Lelatisitswe expressed that government is concerned about human rights barriers, which include stigma and discrimination, violence and negative social attitudes. He said these contribute to the vulnerability of people living with HIV and limit their access to prevention, testing, treatment, and care services. “Although Botswana generally has a protective legal and policy environment towards all citizens, including People Living with HIV, stigma and discrimination towards people seeking HIV services continue to have a negative impact on the fight against HIV,” he said.

According to the Assistant Minister, the findings of the 2021 Stigma Index Survey indicates that a total of 10.2% of People Living with HIV reported having suffered from internal stigma, with men reporting a higher level at 12.6% compared to women at nine percent. “The most common form of internal stigma suffered by People Living with HIV was found to be the inability to disclose one’s HIV positive status, feeling guilty for having contracted the virus, as well as a general feeling of shame and worthlessness,” he added. The National AIDS and Health Promotion Agency (NAHPA) recently launched its fifth Botswana AIDS Impact Survey (BAIS V).

Editor's Comment
Mind your health

They've repeatedly warned that hypertension, or high blood pressure, often termed a chronic lifestyle disease, is a silent killer. It's crucial for everyone to be aware of their health status. Nowadays, many companies host wellness days, offering free disease screenings to employees!Unfortunately, even with such services, some choose not to take advantage of the opportunity.The Dutch Reformed Church in Botswana recently organised a...

Have a Story? Send Us a tip
arrow up