This session will discuss HIV/AIDS, the third decade, and what HIV/AIDs means today. Lorrie Johnson will examine the layers of stigma that suffocate those living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA), including LGBTQ, addictions, mental illness, and sex work. This session will address the effects of stigma on the bio-psycho-social health of PLHA while exploring research, local statistics, and methods of decreasing stigma among the general population and among students entering or currently in the helping profession. Attendees will leave with an understanding of the literature relevant to attitudes of helping professionals and college students entering the helping field.
Ms. Lorrie Johnson plans to pursue a master’s program after earning a bachelor of science in psychology and social work. Over the years, she has been an active volunteer for the House of Mercy, LROC, and the needle exchange. Ms. Johnson is passionate about empowering the HIV/AIDS community by diminishing stigma. She feels that stigmatizing attitudes are fueled by fear and can be found among the general population, as well as by workers and students of the helping profession. Lorrie is completing research on attitudes of students entering the helping profession, and is working to cultivate a strategy that can be used to decrease stigma in that environment.