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About ENUF

The ENUF campaign aims to seek the experiences of both stigma and resilience in all of its many and various forms from people living with HIV.

The ENUF campaign relies upon your voice and your stories.  It is a campaign that relies upon a whole crowd of people thinking about stigma and sharing their experiences.

ENUF is the theme to tie it all together and make it recognisable.

ENUF is the token, the catch phrase and the call to action.

It communicates one clear meaning "ENUF" while at the same time it opens up consideration for multiple meanings. It's direct, it does not waste any time, it's resilient and defiant.  Its a word, anagram or possibly an acronym, it's ENUF.  ENUF resists ignorance and apathy – it demands attention and discussion it is a campaign message that is both simple and obvious, yet it draws you in to discover more.

ENUF means ENUF - it's a word, a sentence in a single word, and it is attached to many phrases which signal that an end has been reached—ENUF depends on your involvement, your assent and your commitment to action.

The ENUF campaign relies upon the submissions of your stories and experiences of HIV stigma and resilience.  We invite everyone to share their voice and we encourage you to consider providing us permission to use your stories in the production of the campaign messages from t-shirts to billboards, posters to magazine articles.

ENUF is your social action to resist HIV stigma and promote resilience.

ENUF will be running for the next few years leading up to the International AIDS Conference in 2014 to be held in Melbourne Australia.

Watch this website for more information, to hear the voices of people rising for a call to action to end HIV stigma.

Stigma is not just fear or ignorance or people being mean.  It is broader than prejudice or discrimination.  It is the dark side of the social life of humans – the negative outcomes that emerge from our habit of dividing people into groups and thinking in stereotypes about them.

It is used to assert power over others and to justify and normalise the inequities that structure our society (Parker & Aggleton, 2003). Because stigma is such a broad, insidious and destructive social process, it affects people in every aspect of their lives – at home, at work, among friends, when looking for partners, in bed, at the clinic and in public.

At the same time stigmas are extremely specific and concrete.  There is not one phenomenon called ‘stigma’ that applies to multiple topics; there are multiple overlapping and interacting stigmas that each have a unique target – a frequent combination of HIV stigma can overlap with gay stigma (homophobia), drug use stigma, sex work stigma and mental health stigma to name only a few.

Stigma is meant to hurt, meant to divide and meant to force others out. The overlaps impact and intensity each other and vary in different countries and cultures, between cities, regional and rural centers and between men and women.

Discrimination is a major challenge to HIV prevention work, in that both the experience and fear of discrimination or stigma inhibits the capacity of both HIV-positive and non HIV-positive people to honestly convey their intentions and their expectations. HIV-negative and unknown-status individuals often deny the possibility of infection and avoid their own responsibility to prevent it through assumptions that are often ill-founded and may be experienced by HIV-positive people as discriminatory or stigmatising (Reeders, 2009).

People with an HIV-negative and unknown status making these sorts of assumptions sometimes show less ability to protect themselves and a lower likelihood of HIV testing than people who acknowledge the complexity and difficulties inherent in sexual negotiation and disclosure (Dodds, 2008).

As opposed to outright discrimination, reducing stigma is difficult because direct challenge can provoke strong emotion, creating resistance to persuasion or even ‘backfire’ where the beliefs are strengthened by the challenge.  Discrimination authorised by stigma keeps people down – by excluding them from opportunities to work, in housing and community life.

Discrimination and stigma are bad bed-fellows, and we've all had ENUF of it.

HIV stigma has disastrous effects not just upon individuals but upon whole communities; it reduces testing rates, which increases the number of people with undiagnosed HIV.

The label and stereotyping attached to an HIV positive result leads undiagnosed people to delay testing, and reluctance to disclose stigmatised behaviours (such as sex between men or injection drug use) means doctors don’t know to offer testing, safe sex advice and other information which could save people's lives.

The ‘us vs. them thinking’ dimension of stigma can be used by people who are fearful about HIV to avoid feeling personally vulnerable – even though they are – and to neglect messages they should heed.

Because of HIV stigma, people focus on 'moral judgments' rather than learning about the different experiences of other people.  This makes it difficult for prevention educators to talk about complex issues.

Stigma impairs sexual negotiation between people of potentially different HIV statuses.  Stigmatising language like asking ‘are you clean?’ stops an open discussion about HIV status.  It fuels a fire of resentment and adds another brick into the backpack of the HIV positive person to lug around.

Stigma has again and again been demonstrated to have concrete negative effects on mental and physical health and overall wellbeing. It causes shame, which in turn induces silence and paralysis of all kinds of expressive action – the fear that something could give away their secret.

People living with HIV (PLHIV) in Australia report that …

On HIV discrimination

  • 26% of PLHIV have experienced less favourable treatment from health providers as result of having HIV – 10% in the last two years.
  • 16% have experienced workplace discrimination.
  • 8% have experienced less favorable treatment in relation to housing.
  • 17% have experienced less favorable treatment in relation to getting insurances.
  • 52% have had their HIV status disclosed without their permission – 22% in the past two years.

On living with HIV

  • 34% of PLHIV feel guilty because they have HIV.
  • 65% feel ashamed of having HIV.
  • 42% work hard to keep their HIV status a secret.
  • 40% believe that most people think that a person with HIV is disgusting.
  • 40% have been hurt by how people have reacted to learning they have HIV.
  • 52% report depression or anxiety.

On HIV treatments

  • 42% of PLHIV are concerned about being seen at an HIV clinic.
  • 47% avoid taking their medications in public.
  • 42% worry about being seen collecting their medications from a pharmacy.
  • 64% are concerned that if they have physical changes from HIV medications people will know their status.
  • 61% are worried that side effects can make their status apparent.

On relationships and sex

Although 75% of people expect HIV positive people to disclose their status before sex – 50% of HIV negative people say they would reject someone who said they were HIV positive.

  • 62% of PLHIV believe that few people would want a relationship with someone who has HIV.
  • 27% report being sexually rejected due to their HIV status.
  • 55% are afraid to tell potential sexual partners their HIV status for fear of rejection.
  • 42% are worried about disclosing their HIV status to sexual partners because of the current legal situation.
  • 28% are concerned about the legal implications of disclosure of sexual practices to service providers.

For further information:

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