In addition to what is written above, there is one more reason - human stupidity. Recently, one of my acquaintances issued the following phrase: "They must be branded, marked in the most literal sense, so that EVERYONE would know about their illness." Banal human stupidity combined with a lack of loyalty, and such frightening results.
It's very simple. People are afraid of contagious diseases. Any strong pathogen stigmatizes the affected group. In this sense, it is impossible to condemn people who are afraid of illness. You just need to prove to them in every possible way that this disease, if a person receives competent treatment, is not particularly contagious. In fact, one should be afraid not of those who openly say that they have HIV, but of those who hide their status. Because it is from them that the infection comes. Or from those who do not even know about their status.
The question here is not at all that people are afraid of drug users or homosexuals, but that they are afraid of infection. And then they already begin to come up with all sorts of excuses for this infection. “Is that why God sent AIDS on you homosexuals?” They ask. - "Because he once sent the plague and the Spanish flu on sinners!" And also all other viruses that humanity has been sick with, is sick and will be sick. It is so normal for human nature to be afraid of the strange, dangerous and incomprehensible that I cannot judge them. You don't judge a person when he is cold, do you? You are just trying to tell him that there are clothes you can wear to keep warm.
And there is also a stigma of its own among patients - many really feel guilty for being infected with HIV.
I think that really, first of all, this is due to the perception of the disease, which, according to many, affects only marginalized groups. In our study, there were people who did not believe that they had HIV, despite the double-checked diagnosis, precisely because they thought that this could not affect them: "we are drug addicts or prostitutes." Although it should be understood that HIV stigmatization is not only a Russian problem, it exists even in very tolerant countries, for example, in Norway, where 60% of the population believe that an HIV-positive person is obliged to disclose his status to his employer and colleagues. Second, people still think that HIV is a death sentence and do not know that one can live happily ever after with HIV. And people, of course, generally tend to avoid contact with terminally ill people, this also applies to cancer, so as not to spoil their mood. And third, elementary illiteracy, many people think that HIV can be contracted in a household way, through one mug, for example.
Because our society's knowledge of how HIV is transmitted is still insufficient. Until now, there are stereotypes about the prevalence of this disease only among disadvantaged segments of the population, be it drug addicts, prostitutes, etc. Not everyone understands that even the powerful are not immune from infection.
Many are still afraid shaking hands or hugging an HIV-positive person, thinking that this will certainly lead to infection.