Feel No Shame || TO Combat HIV/AIDS Stigma, the #FeelNoShame campaign

The introduction-Feel No Shame:-The virus that causes AIDS, HIV, is thought to infect 35 million individuals globally, including 1.2 million in the United States. 

Celebrities Prince Harry, Joss Stone, and Nicole Scherzinger joined hundreds in adopting the hashtag #FeelNoShame (Feel No Shame campaign) to share their secrets on social media to start a debate about the illness—particularly for the sick children of Africa.

In the YouTube video of Prince Harry, he admits that no matter how huge the crowd or the audience is he gets “extremely apprehensive before public speaking.” 

Former Pussycat Dolls member Scherzinger acknowledges that she occasionally doesn’t “feel like I am enough, I am worth it, and I do not fit in.” 

Stone admits that she needs to use the restroom whenever she stops at a gas station. The FeelNoShame campaign was launched by the nonprofit Sentebale yesterday to recognize World AIDS Day as “a day on which no one should feel any guilt about their secrets,” the prince said in a statement. 

“Together, we can combat HIV stigma and provide young people with the childhood they deserve—the childhood that so many of us take for granted—while eradicating the stigma around the disease.”

The stigma around the disease (Feel No Shame Campaign)

HIV is Africa’s leading cause of death and the second leading cause of death worldwide among young people aged 10 to 19. Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso of Lesotho established Sentebale in 2006. 

  • The country in southern Africa has the third-highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the world, with 38,000 HIV-positive kids.
  • All of the #FeelNoShame articles aimed to start a discourse about the things we fear the most to normalize the perceptions of such secrets, whether they were serious or humorous.
  • “Moths and butterflies terrify me. They frighten me.” one poster penned.
  • Another said, “I sometimes lock myself up and remain silent, hoping for anyone to realize I have disappeared.
  • “My 8-year-old daughter is from the rape I had. Without her, I could not picture my life.” Another person gushed, “She is fantastic and sweet.

The conversational approach and advice of the expert

The initiative provides a platform to start a conversation on a touchy subject. Still, Dr. Joanne May, a Chicago’s Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center psychologist, advises that such discoveries should be carefully considered.

  • Even though exposing such secrets, especially ones that can involve others, might be somewhat cathartic, there are frequently long-term repercussions to the revelation.
  • According to Dr. May, “You need to think through what you’re going to disclose, at what pace you’re going to disclose it, and who you’re going to be telling. Sometimes you feel fantastic because it’s off your chest, but that feeling might not persist. Consider whether the time, the person, and the circumstances are right.”
  • She advises that if you have profound, painful secrets, you should consider sharing them on social media. However, it would be best if you only shared them with people you know and trust to get the assistance you need.
  • According to Dr. May, the campaign’s goal is to normalize a topic that is typically taboo owing to stigma or shame. Many individuals struggle with performance anxiety. Knowing that lovely, accomplished people experience the same struggles as they do is incredibly empowering.
  • People frequently suffer in silence because they believe there is no way to get help for illnesses like HIV, depression, and anxiety.
  • According to Dr. May, the public attitude has changed due to “putting things into the open,” making it easier to talk about common problems like pregnancy and even a cancer diagnosis than decades ago.
  • According to her, one individual sharing their experience enables many others who might be reluctant to open up to realize they are not alone. There are various levels of involvement, so users should carefully examine what they put online.
  • “You can never take back a word you’ve spoken aloud.”

Conclusion (Feel No Shame Campaign)

Despite numerous promotions and campaigns, the stigma around these diseases is prevalent. A more comprehensive and multi-level approach is the need of the hour to combat the situation.