Medical student’s pledge against HIV-related stigma and discrimination in the health care setting

International Federation of Medical Students’ Assoctiations have,  with the support of UNAIDS Youth Programme – CrowdOutAIDS, developed a pledge for medical students to fight stigma and discrimination in health care settings,

Medical student’s pledge against HIV-related stigma and discrimination in the health care setting

                “Stigma is a chief reason why the AIDS epidemic continues to devastate societies around the world.” These are the words of Mr. Ban Ki Moon, UN Secretary General.

With the inecreased awareness and the advancements in HIV treatment, stigma and discrimination are still a major obstacles for many people living with HIV , keeping them from enjoying a fulfilling and productive life. Unfortunately, the health care setting is not always a stigma free environment and health care professionals have not always been models of non-discriminatory good practice. Breachs of confidentiality, denial of treatment, disparagement, and even forced sterilization  are only a few examples of how stigma and discrimination manifest themselves in healthcare settings.

But as medical students – future physicians – we say “no” to stigmatizing behavious and discrimination.

As I sign this pledge, I take an oath to treat people living with HIV, throughout my career, with the care and support they deserve, free from any form of discrimination. I also guarantee that I will actively work to protect people living with HIV from discrimination in the healthcare settings. And to do that, I commit myself to the following:

–         I will strive to keep my knowledge updated concerning the transmission of HIV and its prevention and to constantly provide the most appropriate counseling on the prevention of HIV regardless of background, sex, profession, or sexual orientation

–         I will educate myself on the impact of HIV on a person’s life and will continuously try to understand the needs and priorities ofpeople living with HIV in my community

–         I will make sure to inform people living with HIV with an up to date information according to their needs. I will also make sure to work on increasing awaereness and understanding of their health care options

–         I will treat people living with HIV with the same respect I show all other patients and will shy away from any form of judgmental thinking, regardless of my personal beliefs and background. I will refrain from stereotyping, demeaning behavior, and from defining my patients by their HIV status.

–         I will strive to gain and maintain my patients’ trust and confidence and will ensure confidentiality at all costs. I will refrain from disclosing information about my patients’ medical or social conditions without their prior consent

–          I will not deprive a person living with HIV of medical care or treatment and will continue to provide appropriate services to my patients, with their full consultation regardless of the advancement of his/her condition

–         I will try, to the best of my capabilities, to promote the above amongst my fellow medical students and other healthcare professionals

To support and sign the pledge: Medical student’s pledge against HIV-related stigma and discrimination in the health care setting

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