World AIDS Day

On the occasion of the World AIDS Day, the Commissioner for Protection of Equality Brankica Janković underlined that in most cased, persons living with HIV and AIDS are stigmatized in their everyday life and that they face discrimination in all aspects of life, from education and employment to health and social care. Misunderstanding and ignorance related to HIV, as well as refusing personal contact, force them to hide their health condition, while fear of discrimination and rejection by their surrounding lead to their self-isolation.

The Commissioner reiterated that all available results of public opinion polls reveal that there is a great social distance towards this marginalized group and that majority of citizens do not wish to be friends or co-workers with persons living with HIV or AIDS..

In addition, due to prejudice, some healthcare workers discriminate persons living with HIV when they seek medical help and that is why education of healthcare employees is very much needed. Healthcare and curative assistance have to be offered to all people, without discrimination and under the same conditions.

These facts tell us that it is necessary to inform and educate the widest public in order to diminish stigmatisation of and intolerance against persons living with HIV, because ignorance is at the very root of discriminatory behaviour in most cases, concluded  Commissioner Janković.

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