Health Policy Project

The Health Policy Project has ended, but work continues under a new USAID five-year project, Health Policy Plus (HP+).

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HPP Staff Participate in White House Conference on HIV Stigma Reduction
HP+ staff at the white house stigma conference
Photo by Health Policy Project

March 9, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC—How do we measure HIV stigma, and what is the connection between reduced HIV stigma and improved health outcomes, if any? On March 3, the Office of National AIDS Policy held a conference on this topic, “Translating Research into Action: Reducing HIV Stigma to Optimize HIV Outcomes.” At the event, researchers, policy analysts, and community stakeholders discussed best practices on measuring/monitoring HIV stigma, tracking its relationship to HIV outcomes and service implementation, and promising interventions to reduce HIV stigma. The need to convene on this subject is pressing. One HIV-positive attendee, who works as a senior U.S. government policy advisor, recounted a story about facing HIV stigma after a recent car crash sent her to the emergency room—her first nurse arrived in a hazmat suit. She recounted, “Here we are, people in power, and this is happening to us on a daily basis.”

Four staff members from the USAID- and PEPFAR-funded Health Policy Project (HPP) were invited to participate in the event, with both David Mbote and Laura Nyblade leading sessions. Nyblade, a senior technical advisor on stigma and discrimination for HPP/RTI, provided an update on HIV stigma measurement for the conference attendees. Mbote, a technical policy advisor for HPP/Kenya, led a panel highlighting community-led activities focused on reducing HIV stigma. HPP worked to develop and implement a gender and sexual diversity training for the U.S. government, which was provided as an example of a step forward for those working in the field of HIV stigma reduction.

In a debrief following the conference, Molly Fitzgerald, an HPP senior technical advisor, offered a promising take on the state of the field: “We do have things we can do that we know work in reducing stigma. It may take will or improved resources—but we do actually know what to do.”

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The Health Policy Project is a five-year cooperative agreement funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development under Agreement No. AID-OAA-A-10-00067, beginning September 30, 2010. The project's HIV-related activities are supported by the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). It is implemented by Futures Group, in collaboration with Plan International USA, Avenir Health (previously Futures Institute), Partners in Population and Development, Africa Regional Office (PPD ARO), Population Reference Bureau (PRB), RTI International, and White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood (WRA). The information provided on this Web site is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government.

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