What is Stigma?

Stigma Definition




1. 1.

a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person.

"the stigma of having gone to prison will always be with me"



shame, disgrace, dishonor, ignominy, opprobrium, humiliation, (bad)   reputation

"the stigma of  bankruptcy"


  • There is a cyclical relationship between stigma and HIV; people who experience stigma and discrimination are marginalised and made more vulnerable to HIV, while those living with HIV are more vulnerable to experiencing stigma and discrimination.
  • Myths and misinformation increase the stigma and discrimination surrounding HIV and AIDS.
  • Roughly one in eight people living with HIV is being denied health services because of stigma and discrimination.
  • Adopting a human rights approach to HIV and AIDS is in the best interests of public health and is key to eradicating stigma and discrimination. 






  1.  HIV patient, AIDS patient  Positives or HIVer's
  2.  Died of AIDS, to die of AIDS                 
  3.  AIDS virus 
  4.  Full-blown AIDS 
  5.  HIV virus
  6.   Contaminated or infected, dirty 
  7.  AIDS orphans 
  8.  HIV infected mother 
  9.  Mother to child transmission
  10.  AIDS test 
  11. To catch AIDS,
  12.  Compliant 
  13.  Prostitute or prostitution 
  14.  Promiscuous 
  15.  Unprotected sex 




  1. Person living with HIV
  2.  Died of AIDS-related illness, AIDS-related complications or end stage HIV 
  3.  HIV (AIDS is a diagnosis not a virus it cannot be transmitted) 
  4.  There is no medical definition for this phrase, simply use the term AIDS, or Stage 3 HIV. 
  5.  This is redundant use HIV 
  6.  Person living with HIV (never use the term “infected” when referring to a person) 
  7.  Children orphaned by loss of parents or guardians who died of AIDS related complications 
  8.  Mother living with HIV 
  9.  Vertical transmission, perinatal transmission 
  10.  HIV test 
  11.  An AIDS diagnosis, developed AIDS, to contract HIV 
  12.  Adherent 
  13. Sex worker, sale of sexual services
  14.  This is a value judgment and should be avoided.  Use - Having multiple partners 
  15.  Condomless sex with PrEP, Condomless Sex without PrEP