HIV-Related Stigma Reduction in the Era of Undetectable Equals Untransmittable: The South Korean Perspective

Jae Phil Choi, Bo Kyeong Seo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Since the introduction of effective antiretroviral therapy (ART) in the late 1990s, the prognosis for people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) (PLWH) has dramatically improved. High-income countries like South Korea have had rapid declines in HIV-related deaths. Scientific advancements including pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and “undetectable equals untransmittable (U = U)” knowledge have contributed progress towards the goal of ending the acquired immune deficiency syndrome epidemic by 2030. However, the application of these advancements has been limited in South Korea. Evidence shows that HIV-related stigma and discrimination in healthcare settings remain strong in this region. We review key principles for stigma reduction and people-centered approaches in the era of U = U and identify three priorities: 1) immediate intervention in HIV stigma drivers in healthcare settings; 2) social stigma reduction on multiple levels; and 3) collaboration with key populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)661-675
Number of pages15
JournalInfection and Chemotherapy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The editing of this manuscript was partly supported by Yonsei University Research Support Grant.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by The Korean Society of Infectious Diseases, Korean Society for Antimicrobial Therapy, and The Korean Society for AIDS

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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