HIV and AIDS: The words we use

21st February 2012

In an article I wrote for Media Development, I emphasized that when it comes to the HIV pandemic, the words we use not only demonstrate our knowledge and sensitivity to the issue, they can either educate and convey respect – or confirm stereotypes and contribute to the stigma experienced by the millions living with or affected by HIV or AIDS. UNAIDS has  terminology guidelines that may enlighten or appall you as extreme political correctness. But HIV and AIDS has flourished because of injustices in our society – and wrestling with the language is one way we can educate ourselves and others.

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