In an effort to combat AIDS and avoid being infected governments, institutions and individuals are violating the civil rights of people carrying the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in ways that have more to do with racist, xenophobic and homophobic paranoia than any concern with public health. Public insensitivity to those with AIDS or who have tested HIV positive has aggravated the problem. Infected persons have been expelled from jobs; shunned by work or school mates, employers or neighbours; denied mortgages or life assurance at reasonable premiums; run out of towns or hunted down by the police; restricted entering some foreign countries. Children with the disease have been denied access to schools. Homosexuals have been attacked and discriminated against because of their association with the disease. Many victims are embarrassed by stigma of having a "gay disease" or by having their sexual behaviour or drug usage know by family, friends and acquaintances.
In some countries health officials must report the names of anyone who has tested positive. In others attempts are being made to trace sexual relations back over 10 to 15 years for each victim of the disease. Most of the people who are at risk of testing or who have tested positive conceal the possibility of their having the disease.
Some institutions are being discriminated against. Sperm banks are suffering from a lack of donors. Imported blood has been banned in some countries.