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Tackling HIV: we need to move beyond fear and prejudice

08 Feb 2019

In response to the recent HIV registry data leak, Associate Professor Hsu Li Yang, Programme Leader (Infectious Diseases), and Mr Rayner Tan, PhD student and researcher on HIV, address the dated views that many Singaporeans have of the disease.

While there has been significant advances in medical science and treatment of HIV, the same cannot be said about the progress towards social acceptance and de-stigmatisation of the disease. Public perceptions and attitudes towards people living with HIV have not move beyond the narratives of fear and prejudice that marked the early years of the epidemic.

As a hub for healthcare excellence and innovation, Singapore is well-positioned to contribute to the global fight against HIV by eliminating new transmissions and ensuring all HIV-positive individuals have access to effective treatment. However, if we do not tackle this stigma, there will be very real implications for HIV transmission and prevention, and this may prevent us from achieving the goal of zero new transmissions of HIV in Singapore.

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