Living with HIV in Eastern Europe and the CIS: The Human Cost of Social Exclusion. Regional Human Development Report on AIDS. UNDP Bratislava, December 2008.
There are some 1.5 million people living with HIV across the cities and towns of Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) according to UNAIDS estimates, representing the full spectrum and diversity of the region. All are very different from one another, yet all share one thing in common – the prospect of a daily struggle against the combined physical challenges associated with HIV and the equally, if not more devastating social vulnerability wrought by stigma, discrimination and social exclusion.
Findings of this study, presented throughout this report, convey a remarkable similarity in the nature of vulnerability for people living with HIV across a diverse range of socio-economic and political contexts.
- HIV strategies work best when there is a clear understanding of the relationship between AIDS, poverty and human development.
- Lack of knowledge about HIV and AIDS leads to misinformation, fear and prejudice.
- Results from a national study on stigmatization and the forms of discrimination against people living with HIV in Tajikistan showed that one-third of respondents believed a person could be dismissed from employment based on their HIV status.