Friday, January 23, 2009

INtegrating the OUTcasts

Were you a member of a clique in high school? Whether you were a member of the chess club, a cheerleader, a Mathlete, or MVP of the football team, it was societally acceptable for you to receive an integrated and equal education. However, young people living with HIV have experienced discrimination by society due to the lack of public education about the disease. From 2001-2007 the prevalence of HIV in Eastern Europe has increased 140 percent. People are so afraid of the social effects of being HIV positive that many have neglected to seek medical help for their condition. According to a recent survey regarding the education of HIV positive children, many citizens living in the Ukraine and Russia believe that it “would be better to create a boarding school for them, so that they could be educated separately.”

To combat the negative stigma that is associated with HIV, UNDP has launched a campaign in Eastern Europe to help promote public education about the condition and to integrate historically marginalized populations into society regardless of their status as a HIV-positive individual. Providing equal education, access to jobs, and health care are the main goals of the UNDP's work in Eastern Europe.

For more information, click here