When addressing the challenge of changing behavior, Marjorie Hill says it’s easy to blame the victim.
But when it comes to dealing with HIV and AIDS, Hill says, it’s more complicated.
“We think that personal responsibility is important and we certainly encourage it,” she said. “But when you look at the numbers and understand the epidemiology, the most common factor that those 33 million people who have the disease share is poverty. Poverty doesn’t transmit HIV, but certainly being in a situation where someone has less access to information, resources, education and power — those are factors that influence HIV.”
That’s what GMHC, the world’s first provider of HIV and AIDS prevention, care and advocacy, works to change, Hill said.