News

Official Launch of the Timor-Leste HIV Stigma Index Report

30 April 2019
Official launch of the HIV Stigma Index Report by Dr. Odete Viegas Silva, Director General of Service Delivery of the MoH; Mrs. Ines Lopes, the Director of Estrela+; and Mr. Roy Trivedy, the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Timor-Leste, attended by Mrs. Grishma Bista the Country Director of Marie Stopes Timor-Leste, and Dr. Ronny Lindstrom, the UNFPA Timor-Leste Country Representative. Photo by: Roderick T.J. Buiskool/ UNFPA Timor-Leste

Dili, Timor-Leste- Yesterday, (29/04/2019) the Timor-Leste HIV Stigma Index Report was officially launched. The groundbreaking report was prepared by Estrela+ with technical support from UNFPA Timor-Leste, and Marie Stopes Timor-Leste. The report was launched by Dr. Odete Viegas Silva, Director General of Service Delivery of the MoH; Mrs. Ines Lopes, the Director of Estrela+; and Mr. Roy Trivedy, the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Timor-Leste. The event was attended by the UNFPA Country Representative, the WHO Country Representative, the Human Rights Adviser to the United Nations, the PNTL and F-FDTL (national police and army), and various civil society organisations including Hatutan youth group, Coalition for Diversity and Action (CODIVA), and Buimau Timor-Leste.

The report shows that people living with HIV report significant painful discrimination, including assault, verbal and physical abuse, social exclusion and divorce. Furthermore, the report shows that the stigma and discrimination towards people living with HIV is a major deterrent for people to access HIV testing and treatment.

The report also points out to the lack of confidentially in the healthcare setting, with 31% of people living with HIV saying they were tested without knowing, and 40% saying a health worker told other people about their HIV status without their consent.  

During the launch, the UN Resident Coordinator affirmed that the agencies of the United Nations are committed to working together with the government of Timor-Leste and all partners to find ways of eliminating discrimination against people with HIV.

"The report must be used as a reference to improve service delivery and ensure health professionals in Timor-Leste treat people living with HIV with respect and dignity, ensuring confidentially during testing and treatment",  said Dr. Odete da Silva Viegas, representing the Ministry of Health.

The findings that the majority of people living with HIV interviewed in this study (81%) did not identify themselves as a member of a key population group1 is of interest as it calls for programmes and interventions that target the general population, and not exclusively focus on key populations, as it is currently the case in Timor-Leste.

It is hoped that this  report, will help all relevant partners to make informed decisions that will contribute to  the reduction of stigma and discrimination towards  people living with HIV.

The launch was concluded with the screening of Domin ho Kondisaun (Conditional Love), a documentary on HIV Stigma and Discrimination produced by UNFPA Timor-Leste and Estrela+. Please click the link to watch the video: https://timor-leste.unfpa.org/en/video/domin-ho-kondisaun-conditional-love

 

You can access the HIV Stigma Index Report in English and Tetun here: https://timor-leste.unfpa.org/en/publications/hiv-stigma-index-report

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

***

 

UNFPA is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. UNFPA reaches millions of women and young people in 155 countries and territories, including Timor-Leste.