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Drawing the Links Between Disability and AIDS

Questions around sexuality and disability have been silenced for years. People with disabilities continue to be protrayed as asexual, hyper-sexual or just down-right unattractive. Anything except for human beings with the same variety of sexual attractions as any other humans regardless of perceived ability. In the context of HIV/AIDS this silence can be deadly. As part of our ongoing committment to advocating for the inclusion of disability rights in global AIDS discourse and programs, AIDS-Free World wants to ask those questions about disability and sexuality that, as a society, we may often be afraid to ask. We aim to update this site weekly with new discussions with our Advisor on Disability and AIDS, Myroslava Tataryn. Should you have questions that you would like to ask Myroslava as part of this discussion please email us at mt@aidsfreeworld.org.

Question 1: Why is it important for us to talk about AIDS and disability together?

Question 2: What is the difference between "disability" and "impairment"?

Question 3: Is AIDS and disability just a problem in Africa?

Question 4: What is the difference between people with disabilities who become HIV-positive and people with HIV who become disabled?

Question 5: Can you describe some of the barriers a person with a disability might face if he or she tries to get tested for HIV?

Question 6: Many people are uncomfortable thinking about people with disabilities having sex; how does that affect your work?

Question 7: Do children with disabilities receive the same amount of sexual health education as children without disabilities?

Question 8: Is a woman with a disability at a higher risk of being raped than a woman without a disability?

Question 9: There are so many different disabilities, how can we ever make programs accessible to everyone?

Question 10: Is there a link between unemployment, disability and HIV?