Stigma remains the single most important barrier to public action. It is the main reason why so many people are afraid of seeing a doctor to determine whether they have AIDS or to seek treatment if so. This is why AIDS has become a silent killer — people fear social disgrace in speaking about it or taking precautions that are easily available out there.
Stigma is the chief reason why the AIDS epidemic continues to devastate societies around the world. Because of stigma and the lack of information around the disease, many HIV positive people remain reluctant to tell their loved ones about their status or treatment, increasing the possibility of spreading it further.
No matter how educated we are, how much prosperous we are, we always carry stigma and taboo within us about religion, personal beliefs, culture and diseases, especially HIV. It’s time to overcome this stigma and start thinking about its consequences on HIV positive people, including me. It wasn’t easy for me to tell the world: “Look, I’m Rohit Malik and I’m HIV positive.” We need to learn, educate and build a ecosystem in which everyone can live without any fear or discrimination. That’s what an ideal society means.