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About You Can Live Outreach Program
"Our vision is to one day see a world free from HIV Stigma and to spread love to all mankind"
You Can Live Outreach is a nonprofit organization committed to offer support and education to those in our community who are living with or affected by the stigma of HIV/AIDS, to serve as an outreach and intervention program, to prevent further transmission of HIV, and to reduce the high-risk behaviors throughout disadvantaged communities.
" Our goal is to strengthen our community with love and eliminate stigma"
How HIV Stigma can affect the quality of life:
Stigma is a form of prejudice that discredits or rejects an individual or group because they are seen to be different from ourselves or from the mainstream. When people act on their prejudice, stigma turns into discrimination. The stigma associated with HIV can lead to isolation, which can affect the quality of life of people living with HIV. Stigma and discrimination can also make people who are at risk of HIV less willing to be tested and those with HIV less able to seek treatment, care and support.
There are many factors that contribute to stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV. Most of these factors reflect people's ignorance of the basic facts about HIV and the fears that they have about people living with HIV as a result. For example, myths about how HIV is spread can cause people to be afraid to hug someone with HIV or refuse to use the toilet after a person living with HIV.
Most people living with HIV acquired it through sexual contact or injecting drugs. These behaviors are often ones already stigmatized in society and can come with pre-existing moral beliefs. For example, HIV is seen as a 'punishment' for immoral or bad behavior, even when the woman did not engage in whatever behavior she was accused of doing. A code of silence about sexual relations combined with social acceptance of men's sexual activity outside of marriage have resulted in the infection of many women who were having sex only with their husbands.
Whether you know it or not current laws and policies increase the stigma against people living with HIV or certain at-risk groups. Laws that make it illegal to spread HIV reinforce social attitudes that people living with HIV are 'bad' and deserve to be punished. In addition, people avoid testing for HIV or disclosing their status to sexual partners for fear of prosecution. Lastly, laws that make it illegal to spread HIV to others are more likely to affect women and girls, since they are more likely to learn their status through prenatal testing.
If you struggle with stigma and discrimination, depression, or isolation, it can be helpful to connect with You Can Live Outreach advocates where we provide courteous, professional and confidential support. Contact us.
We have a simple, but robust mission: to help people in need. We do that by focusing on community-based efforts including education, awareness, and food aid. We want to make a difference.