Self discrimination of People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA)

I am a new member of the aids competence. I want to pick up your brain too much. Some PLHAs had a sense of discrimination from environment and surrounding and so they have not dare to participate in any social events like forum, self help group. But their surrounding have not desire to discriminate upon them. So may I have any suggestion for this condition and how I do for those PLHAs ?

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Comment by Ye Win on November 4, 2009 at 1:01pm
thanks for ur comments!
Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on November 3, 2009 at 8:15pm
Dear MariJo,

Thanks for this beautiful sharing. I take back a very important lesson from it- love yourself and do not refrain from being what you are. As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live says Johann von Goethe.

Sending you this BIG hug, my friend.

Thanks to Ye Win for raising this pertinent issue.

Affectionately,

Rituu
Comment by Gaston on November 3, 2009 at 8:13am
Dear MariJo,

Thank you once again for sharing your deep insight and experience with this. It touches me and although I am HIV negative, I can see how this applies in my own life with many other things that I might perceive as 'not-perfect' in my life. You use HIV as an example, but your sharing is useful for many other things that can lead to self-discrimination.

Thanks for letting me start my day with reading this.
Comment by MariJo on November 2, 2009 at 6:34pm
Dear Ye Win,
Wellcome to the aids competence community and thank you for sharing with us your concern about self discrimination.

I always find it a bit difficult to know where are the limits of stigma, discrimination and self discrimination. I know there are a lot of definitions going on but when it comes to the real life, I am not very sure how we can do with those.

As an HIV positive person myself, and also from my relationship with other people living with HIV, I could see the impact of self discrimination and how it is the most powerful way of discrimination because you live permanently under its influence. And then when you get some confirmation from outside, no matter how small it might be, it contributes to reasure you in feeling that way.

Most of the times, HIV is just the excuse we find to justify why we do not love ourselves and why others might not love us. But HIV can also be a way to find the strengths you have to do things for others (and for yourself). Having HIV highlighted some of the strenghts I had and which I had never been aware of before, so after recognizing those strengths I stopped thinking that somebody could discriminate me because of HIV.

In my experience, it is not just discrimination what we need to work against but also introducing recognition and appreciation of people's capacities. Every person needs to find her/his own way to recognize and appreciate their individual, special strengths, and there you have an important role because at times it is hard for a person to start looking at her/himself in such an appreciative way and they might need your help at first.

Look for the strengths around you, tell them what you appreciate in them, let them know in which ways they are special... This is the first balsam to start healing the deep wounds of lack of self-esteem and then to stop self discrimination.

I do not know if this can help you to start with.

With my best wishes
MariJo

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