Establishing a global knowledge network on HIV stigma and discrimination reduction

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Anne Stangl, Laura Brady, Traci Eckhaus and Laura Nyblade

Stigma remains a seriously neglected issue in the global response to HIV despite more than a decade of efforts to understand the causes of HIV stigma, raise awareness about its harmful effects, and develop programs and strategies to reduce it.

In November 2008, M.A.C AIDS Fund and the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) convened a meeting that brought together nearly 60 experts from the program, research, policy, advocacy and donor sectors to identify why HIV stigma has not gained sufficient ground in the global HIV response and what can be done to turn that around.

At the meeting, participants prioritized six key actions to galvanize support for scaling-up stigma-reduction efforts globally. Foremost among the action items was the creation of a global knowledge network. This report summarizes findings of the background research conducted on existing health and development networks to identify options for organizing the structure and key functions of the stigma knowledge network.