Disability and HIV: Critical Intersections
The relationship between HIV and disability is complex, but critical, because disabled people are vulnerable to HIV infection, while people living with HIV are at high risk of impairment. But this relationship remains largely unexplored in disability studies, epidemiology, global health, development and associated fields, and disability issues have been largely neglected in global and national HIV policy responses. The continuing lack of data on HIV prevalence among disabled people globally obscures their specific needs and requirements in accessing HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services. This chapter discusses conceptualisations of disability, bodies and health identities. We then examine disabled people’ vulnerability to HIV, including violence, stigma and access to sexual health and HIV prevention and treatment programmes. We focus on the relationship between disability and HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa, the continent that has been most affected by the HIV epidemic to date, and examine recent policy initiatives by disabled people’s organisations and networks of people living with HIV to tackle discrimination to advance their claim for the right to health in the differing local and national contexts of Ghana and Uganda.
KeywordsHIV and AIDS HIV prevention, treatment, care and support Helthcare - Cultural meanings of health and illness Stigma Sub-Saharan Africa
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