In the years following the HIV epidemic, much has changed in the way of public health, the social epidemic of stigma has remained. It is the assertion of the authors that stigma can be combatted through the propagation of accurate education and exposure to the lasting negative impacts of social stigma on persons living with HIV in the United States at present. Although individuals who are not apart of this community cannot truly understand the impacts of HIV-related stigma on those directly impacted by it, a sense of understanding and compassion may be elicited through the breakdown of social stigma into comprehensible components and the provision of stigma-inspired artwork. In addition to providing a background on the scientific basis of Human immunodeficiency virus and its spread, the authors have elected to utilize public engagement by means of an anonymous survey as well as personal interactions with HIV advocates to synthesize paintings. Responses were collected from approximately 300 survey participants via social media with no demographic information collected. It was the hope of the authors that the lack of identifying questions may prompt participants to answer freely and honestly to improve overall understanding of social perceptions of HIV and its related stigma. These paintings and resources deemed appropriate based on the results of the aforementioned survey are to be displayed on a webpage for easier access and engagement with a broader audience.Moreover, this webpage is intended to be maintained and utilized beyond the timeframe of this Undergraduate Honors Thesis for the intended purpose of promoting stigma-free HIV advocacy and education.
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