Opening up the HIV/AIDS epidemic : guidance on encouraging beneficial disclosure, ethical partner counselling, and appropriate use of HIV case reporting : executive summary
Denial, stigma and discrimination continue to surround HIV/AIDS, resulting in a high level of secrecy concerning the epidemic. Governments and communities are at a loss as to how to deal with this and have called for new approaches to respond to the epidemic, particularly in high-prevalence areas. This document highlights the need to identify the causes and consequences of the denial, stigma, discrimination and secrecy that surround HIV/AIDS and hinder effective responses. It proposes that opening up the HIV/AIDS epidemic involves the encouragement of beneficial disclosure, ethical partner counselling and the appropriate use of HIV case reporting. The guidance the document offers is based on the firm belief that human rights and ethical principles are essential in the creation of an effective public health environment in which most people are encouraged to, and indeed do, change their behaviour, prevent their own infection or onward transmission, and receive care.