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Poz Link Helps alleviate stigma felt by HIV-positive individuals

Poz Link is a community of members who help break down the walls of HIV/AIDS stigma.

The social stigma that comes with being HIV-positive can often make a person feel as though they are alone. Many HIV-positive individuals report co-workers, friends, and even family members react negatively to them when their status is revealed. Some people have even reported being shunned by healthcare organizations and educational institutions.

The results of this type of discrimination are devastating to a person and can lead to depression from feelings of being alone or excluded. 

“I’m still afraid to tell my family. My cousin’s the only one who knows but only because she asked me straight up but I’m not sure how the rest of them will react,” said an HIV-positive individual who would rather not reveal his name. “I’d like to think that they’d still be accepting but who knows. For now I just stay close to the ones who don’t judge me.” 

But it doesn’t have to be this way! Poz Link is a new website that helps HIV-positive individuals in San Diego connect with others who are also HIV-positive.

The website is a place where individuals can feel welcomed and create lifelong friendships. Poz Link members understand the stigma HIV-positive people face because they have gone through it themselves. Poz Link is also a great place for people to find valuable resources, such as how to find housing through organizations like San Diego Health Services Planning Council and Townspeople.

Poz Link offers a variety of sections that make this online space a safe place for members to share their thoughts and connect with others. It makes individuals feel not so alone.

For example, one section that is particularly popular is the blog feed, which allows people to talk about their feelings and discuss situations that have come up or ones they fear will arise in the future. Additionally, Poz Link’s message boards spur helpful discussions, its online “Fight Stigma” campaign provides encouragement and the site lets members connect directly to Twitter and Facebook.

This way, when a member is logged onto the site, social media information is instantly available to them. It’s just another way Poz Link is committed to building a stigma-free community!

“When I was first diagnosed, I was feeling secluded and wanted to talk to someone that knew what I was experiencing,” said one Poz Link member. “Poz Link provided me that solidarity and support.”

Unfortunately the stigma around those who are HIV-positive still does exist, but Poz Link has emerged as an easy, confidential and one-stop site offering acceptance, information and a helpful peer support network. Join today by visiting www.pozlinksd.com, www.facebook.com/pzlnk or @pozlink on Twitter.