Genital ulcers, stigma, HIV, and STI control in sub-Saharan Africa

April 2002
Sexually Transmitted Infections;Apr2002, Vol. 78 Issue 2, p143
Academic Journal
HIV associated stigma is still prevalent throughout Africa despite the spread of the epidemic. Stigma is also attached to sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Despite the importance of STIs, particularly genital ulceration in facilitating heterosexual HIV transmission, policymakers continue to focus mainly on other priorities. It would appear that this lack of public health initiative in tackling genital ulcers is itself an example of stigmatisation. Possible explanations for this include geographical variation in the data and a perception that genital ulcers are not a topic that can be discussed freely and openly. HIV policymakers in countries worst affected by HIV in Africa should examine their own opinions for bias when determining public health priorities for HIV prevention. The importance of genital ulcers should be reassessed and publicised.


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