The City Seeks Feedback With Survey on HIV Stigma During COVID-19

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Take the survey. The City of WeHo is seeking feedback from the community about HIV stigma as part of HIV Zero Strategic Plan. Residents and members of the community, regardless of HIV status, are encouraged to provide input, which will be helpful to the City’s ongoing implementation of its HIV Zero plan.

This marks the sixth survey regarding HIV stigma. This survey also seeks input about COVID-19’s impact on access to healthcare. Community members are encouraged to take part in the survey even if they have completed a past HIV Zero survey.

“Over the years, HIV treatment, politics, prevention, and service delivery have changed, but one thing has remained solid and true — the City’s unwavering dedication to bring an end to HIV, while at the same time serving and supporting those who are living with it,” said City of West Hollywood Councilmember John D’Amico. “Our West Hollywood HIV Zero Strategic Plan spells out our current efforts — along with a clear plan — to get to zero on many fronts. Zero new infections. Zero progression of HIV to AIDS. Zero discrimination. Zero stigma.”

“Getting to Zero is not an easy goal, but it is possible when we bring to bear the resources of the City and our community partners,” said City of West Hollywood Councilmember John Duran. “In the 1980s, as gay men in our community were getting sick and dying all around us, the City responded with resources, creativity, and most importantly, with the deepest wells of compassion and commitment. Our collective ongoing work will help guide us to that day we’ve all dreamed of. The day when we can say, once and for all, HIV/AIDS is over.”

A goal of the survey is to understand how stigma impacts access to care and overall health and wellness. Stigma and discrimination are potentially the most difficult aspects of HIV/AIDS to address. For people living with HIV, stigma is related to negative psychosocial, physical and mental health issues such as social isolation, anxiety, and depression. Among HIV-negative gay and bisexual men and transgender women, sexual orientation-based stigma can negatively affect mental health, coping skills, and willingness to disclose sexual orientation, which impacts healthcare, access to screenings and preventative medicine. The prejudice and discrimination resulting from HIV stigma can be overt, such as barriers to healthcare coverage or employment termination, or subtle, such as social exclusion. A goal of the HIV Zero Strategic Plan is to build an inclusive community that supports underserved groups and honors the contributions made by people living with HIV.

HIV/AIDS has had a significant impact on the City of West Hollywood and, as early as the mid-1980s, the City was one of the first government entities to provide social services grants to local HIV/ AIDS organizations.

For additional information about the City’s HIV Zero Strategic Plan, please visit www.weho.org/hivzero.

Watch “Getting to Zero” on the City of West Hollywood’s WeHoTV YouTube channel to learn more about the City of West Hollywood’s HIV Zero vision: https://youtu.be/LAR-pqY6CyY.

For more information, contact Derek Murray, Social Services Program Administrator, at dmurray@weho.org at (323) 848-6478.

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