The objective of the South Asia DM is to identify and fund innovative approaches for how to reduce stigma and discrimination associated with HIV and AIDS in the region. Persistent stigma and discrimination throughout the region:


  • Severely hamper efforts to prevent new HIV infections, especially among vulnerable groups at high risk (sex workers and their clients, injecting drug users and their partners and men having sex with men),
  • Contribute to the social rejection of people living with HIV and AIDS, causing personal and economic stress,
  • Compound people’s fear of HIV and AIDS because of the association with sex, drugs, illness and death,
  • Affect rural women whose livelihoods and survival are under threat, and
  • Prevent access to treatment and care of HIV and AIDS, and other services.


Stigma and discrimination have been identified as major obstacles to scaling up HIV prevention services in all South Asian countries and by all national programs, development partners and community-based organizations.


Stigma marginalizes people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHAs) and contributes to their social isolation and rejection. The discrimination associated with stigma denies vulnerable groups access to HIV testing and preventive services and prevent PLWHAs from access to the treatment services that they need to fight the disease. The impact of stigma for HIV and AIDS is particularly acute for women in South Asia who are often economically, culturally, and socially disadvantaged to begin with.


The South Asia Regional Development Marketplace will support initiatives that use innovative approaches to fight the stigma and discrimination associated with HIV and AIDS. We are looking for efforts that tackle prejudice of HIV and AIDS at the community and/or other levels.