Howard University’s International Conference on Stigma

Howard University’s International Conference on Stigma

The 11th Annual International Conference on Stigma will be held from Monday, November 16, 2020 to Friday November 20, 2020 as a Virtual Howard University Event.

Nearly everyone living with HIV has experienced degrading, debilitating stigma at one time or another. Many HIV-positive folks develop coping mechanisms that result in internalized stigma, which prevents them from seeking evaluation and treatment, disclosing the diagnosis to the people most likely to provide support, and following treatment guidelines. The effects of stigma have become a major reason why the HIV epidemic continues and why millions of people are getting infected and dying with HIV every year.

The 11th International Conference on Stigma will bring together researchers, community members, academics, policy makers, faith leaders, and youths to discuss the impact of health-related stigma and ongoing research on interventions to eliminate stigma. The conference will include plenary sessions and advocacy leadership training sessions; scientific poster presentations; networking opportunities; and art, with an emphasis on intersectionality of stigma and support for the next generation of young researchers and advocates combating stigma. The conference is part of the Howard University Stigma Project, which seeks to measure the burden of stigma, test the effectiveness of intervention mechanisms, implement appropriate strategies and determine their effect over time. Their goal is to create a comprehensive Center for Social Justice in Healthcare for research, education and advocacy to fight stigma.

Participants are invited to share their stories of stigma encountered by recording a one-minute video detailing “What does stigma mean for me?” and “What can we do about stigma?”

Participants are also invited to submit visual art, videos, essays, and poetry depicting the shame, denial, and secrets perpetuated by a world of stigma.

Virtual booths are also available to ASOs and other organizations to showcase their anti-stigma work.

For more information, and to register for the conference, visit:

—Reporting by Hank Trout

Hank Trout, Senior Editor, edited Drummer, Malebox, and Folsom magazines in the early 1980s. A long-term survivor of HIV/AIDS (diagnosed in 1989), he is a forty-year resident of San Francisco, where he lives with his husband Rick. Follow him on Twitter @HankTroutWriter.