Feature story

Ireland to Stamp out Stigma

30 January 2007


Ireland is pledging to “Stamp out” AIDS-related stigma and discrimination in Ireland as part of a national campaign launched by Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern on December 1 2006.

The goal of this public awareness campaign is to improve the understanding of HIV and the issues that HIV positive people have to deal with, it also aims at reducing AIDS-related in the workplace and in promoting safer environments for people to disclose their status and access necessary services. The one-year campaign is a joint initiative of the Irish Department of Health and Children and the Department of Foreign Affairs

“Each year on 1 December, the world comes together in solidarity with the millions of men, women and children who are living with HIV and we remember our obligation to act now and to live up to the ambitious international commitments we have made,” said Prime Minister Ahern when launching the campaign on World AIDS Day.

The campaign will feature a number of activities in 2007 such as the development an anti-stigma advertisement to be screened on national television, through national cinemas and on the internet. “Stamp out Stigma” will involve a wide variety of partners in the AIDS response including the media sector, with the aim of encouraging responsible, non-stigmatizing reporting on AIDS in both print and broadcast media throughout Ireland. Activities and lobbying will also take place to promote the Employment Equality Act 1998 and the Equal Status Acts 2000 and 2004 which prohibit all forms of discrimination in the workplace on the basis of HIV status.

“We must all work together to make our societies more open and caring, more inclusive and less judgmental,” said Prime Minister Ahern.

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