A new Lancet HIV commentary by Population Council Associate II, Waimar Tun highlights the need for more and better data on the prevalence of HIV in people with disabilities and the factors that put them at risk and hinder their access to services.
Despite progress in understanding what puts people with disabilities at increased risk for HIV, this population is still often overlooked by HIV prevention, care, and treatment programs. Tun and colleagues call for the inclusion of people with disabilities in every stage of epidemiological studies to generate high-quality data that is needed to guide policy and appropriate HIV-related services for people with disabilities.
“Although testimonials from people with disabilities bring their experiences to life, and are extremely powerful advocacy tools for moving decision makers toward action, they need to be supported by epidemiological studies to make the case to governments, donors, and implementers to invest in and inform evidence-based disability inclusive HIV programming. This is particularly true in many African countries, where there is much stigma and discrimination toward people with disabilities, and a general belief that people with disabilities are not sexually active and therefore not at risk for HIV.”
Read more at Lancet HIV: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanhiv/article/PIIS2352-3018(16)30223-5/fulltext.