Disabilities associated with HIV infection are a real concern as they can make it difficult for HIV sufferers to participate fully in society. Disabilities can be physical, mental or involve sensory impairment and there is also evidence to show that people with existing disabilities are at a higher risk of contracting an HIV infection. Although these issues are of high importance, research in these areas has been sparse and so the series HIV/AIDS and Disability published by Journal of the International AIDS Society aims to raise awareness of these subjects and propose recommendations for the future.
In their introductory Editorial ‘Special theme on HIV and disability – a time for closer bonds’, Shirin Heidari and Susan Kippax highlight the importance of continuing research and awareness into the problems encountered by HIV sufferers with disabilities and give an introduction to the various issues within this. The articles in the series cover a range of subjects including an article on how human rights law has treated disability and AIDS, in which the authors note some of the different ways in which national anti-discrimination laws have reflected the links between HIV and disability, and offer some recommendations for collaboration between HIV and disability rights advocates in advancing human rights at the international level. Another article looks at how to prevent and reduce factors affecting disability experiences and considers how extrinsic and intrinsic contextual factors may exacerbate or alleviate episodes of HIV-related disability and how these can offer a broader understanding of the disability experience and may suggest ways to prevent or reduce disability for adults living with HIV. To be informed when new articles are published within the HIV/AIDS and Disability thematic series please sign up for article alerts.