Persons with disabilities are at the same or greater risk of HIV infection as those without disabilities. Due to insufficient access to appropriate HIV education, prevention and support services, persons with disabilities may engage in behaviours which place them at risk of HIV infection.
In addition persons with disabilities, particularly women and girls, are at a higher risk of experiencing sexual assault and abuse, making them vulnerable to HIV infection as well as other sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancy.
Disability inclusive HIV programs and services must consider physical accessibility of clinics and services, and provision of education and information in accessible formats such as sign language. They may work with Disabled People’s Organisations to assist in disseminating health information to members.
Training for service providers to increase awareness of the particular prevention and support needs for persons with disabilities and to overcome stigmatising attitudes is also crucial. Increasing the participation of persons with disabilities in all components of the HIV response is critical. Resources provided explore the approaches, principles and practices which can support effective disability inclusive HIV programming.
See also: Sexual and Reproductive Health, Accessible Infrastructure and Communications and Participation of Persons with Disabilities