Laws Are No Shield for Stigma

An HIV-positive American and his physician partner have been accused of exposing the personal details of 14,200 HIV-positive people in Singapore, The Washington Post reports.

Some activists say the couple are victims too—of discriminatory hiring practices that force HIV-positive people to live in the shadows of society. In 2017, the American was accused of enlisting his partner's help to submit a false HIV blood test so he could secure a work permit in the city-state. 

In response, Singapore officials referred to laws protecting employees from dismissal based on their HIV status, Malay Mail reports. But many say that if their status becomes known, people with HIV risk losing their jobs.

The stubborn stigma spans Southeast Asia, The Straits Times reports. In Thailand, where HIV is “tearing through the gay and transgender communities,” anti-retroviral medications are inexpensive and available. But HIV-positive people still report being fired because of their status.

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