HIV/AIDS and the Deaf Community

Leila Monaghan and Deborah Karp

in Deaf around the World

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199732548
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199866359 | DOI:
HIV/AIDS and the Deaf Community

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In this chapter the authors converse about the HIV/AIDS epidemic in deaf communities, recommending national, not local, action with regard to funding, information dissemination, and information gathering. At the same time they focus attention on strengths deaf communities bring to this fight, such as peer-to-peer teaching. Communication barriers, the stigma of AIDS, and lack of recognition and funding from larger organizations hamper outreach and treatment efforts. Many are afflicted due to failure to deliver relevant information to deaf communities — from how the disease is transmitted, to what a plus symbol means (i.e. something negative, not positive), to what is appropriate medical treatment and how to get it. The lack of accessible language in outreach organizations has been a major culprit in this confusion.

Keywords: Deaf activism; deaf rights; HIV/AIDS in deaf communities; HIV/AIDS outreach; accessible language in deaf outreach; deaf outreach; stigma of AIDS; American Deaf community; Deaf pride

Chapter.  4669 words. 

Subjects: Language Teaching and Learning

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