Reducing Stigma and Discrimination Project
Location: Ndwedwe District, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
Partners: Community REACH (administered by Pact, Inc,), South African Department of Health
HIV/AIDS-related stigma, discrimination, blame and collective denial creates barriers to effectively addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic in South Africa because it forces the epidemic out of sight and underground. In May 2003, MCDI received an award from Community REACH administered by Pact, Inc. to implement the Reducing Stigma and Discrimination Project in Ndwedwe District, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa in partnership with the National Association of People Living with HIV/AIDS (NAPWA).
NAPWA identified stigma as one of its four greatest challenges faced as an organization mobilizing and serving PLWA. Thus, the project addressed the issue of stigma and discrimination within the Ndwedwe District by developing sustainable models from which best practices can be replicated. The project worked with the support and cooperation of the Regional Coordinator for AIDS representing the Department of Health (DOH).
The conceptual approach of the project was based on the principles of a rights-based approach (e.g., universality, gender equality, accountability of duty-holders, participation) and principles of GIPA (Greater Involvement of People with AIDS) to effectively address internal and external stigma and discrimination.