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Stigma in the context of development - A Christian response to the HIV pandemic, by Gillian Paterson

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"Caution is needed in generalising about the theological and ethical issues stigma raises. Stigma is contextual. For example, same-sex relationships are less stigmatised in – say – western Europe than they are in cultural contexts where the taboos are stronger, and where men having sex with men are criminalised by the law. To be a woman, or black, or disabled may be stigmatised in one context, but will be normal in another."

Gillian Paterson PhD is a freelance theologian, writer and consultant on health and development. Formerly a staff member of Christian Aid, she has been involved with HIV and AIDS since 1994. She has worked with many NGOs,  including the World Council of Churches, the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance, Caritas Internationalis, UNAIDS, Christian Aid, Norwegian Church Aid and the World Conference of Religions for Peace. She is currently a Progressio board member. Relevant publications include:

Women in the time of AIDS (1996, Orbis Books);

AIDS and the African Churches: exploring the challenges (2001, Christian Aid);

AIDS-related stigma: thinking outside the box (2005, WCC/EAA);

HIV Prevention: A global theological conversation (ed) (2009, EAA)

and numerous articles and chapters.

Her doctoral thesis was a theological and ethical reflection on HIV and AIDS-related stigma.