Almost every type of HIV-related discrimination and associated stigma—from
denials of medical treatment or admission to schools and camps to unwarranted
felony prosecutions for HIV “exposure”—is rooted in gross misperceptions about
the actual routes, risks and current realities of HIV transmission and treatment.
Extraordinary progress in treatment options has transformed what it means to live
with HIV, yet public understanding of HIV seems largely stuck in the 1980’s, before
HIV was a treatable, chronic disease.