"Yvone, a young woman in a wheelchair, living in a compound in Lusaka, Zambia, told me that when she went for HIV testing, “You are looked up and down, people say, ‘Why should you be in the line? Who could give you HIV?’ They don’t expect disabled women to be sexually active.” Local health facilities don’t have ramps, wide doorways and accessible toilets, making it difficult for her to get even basic healthcare services."
Yvone is one of the almost two million people in Zambia have disabilities, and who face significant barriers in accessing HIV prevention, testing and treatment services. People with physical, intellectual, psychosocial or sensory disabilities face pervasive stigma and discrimination in communities and healthcare settings because of stereotypical views that they do not have the capacity, desire or right to lead full sexual and reproductive lives. Staff in health facilities are not able to communicate test results or provide counseling for some people with disabilities, especially deaf people. Due to communication barriers and notions about their capacity to consent, people with disabilities are not always assured of confidential HIV services with full and informed consent.
One Billion Left Behind in AIDS Fight