Holloway on Stigmas Surrounding HIV/AIDS and Mpox

Ian Holloway, professor of social welfare and director of the Southern California HIV/AIDS Policy Research Center, spoke to the Los Angeles Times about parallels between the stigmas associated with HIV and AIDS in the past and the recent outbreak of the virus mpox. Public messaging around health threats plays a vital role in how people affected by such conditions are treated. Misinformation and stigma surrounding mpox can discourage people from getting proper care, Holloway said. “The effect that it has is similar to the early days of HIV/AIDS because it kept people away from testing and treatment, and overall created a lot of shame and mental health challenges,” Holloway said. “It’s unfortunate to see those parallels play out.” However, Holloway said messaging around the mpox outbreak has been more inclusive than it was around AIDS, showing that government leaders are doing a better job of responding to new viral threats.


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