Stigma occurs when we negatively associate a condition or disease with a specific group of people. Then, because they are seen to live with a condition, those people are labelled, stereotyped, and suffer discrimination and loss of status. Stigma can negatively affect people’s self-esteem, social relationships, and working lives. It can make them more vulnerable to illness and limit their access to healthcare. Stigma can even make it harder for people to prevent illness.
How does stigma and the resulting discrimination affect people living with liver conditions, such as chronic viral hepatitis, fatty liver disease, and alcohol-related liver disease? How does stigma impact their health facilities and access to them? How can we tackle stigma and discrimination? Unpack this thorny topic, hearing the perspectives of several patient organisations, members of EASL Patient Synergies, and liver doctors at this year’s Patient Forum.