Theme: Discrimination & Bias

Stigma 101

by Linda Dixon-Rigsby and Alecia Reed-Owens

Stigma around disease, race, sexual behavior, and sexual orientation is one of the most pressing challenges of the HIV crisis. In this workshop, participants learn the basics of stigma, being encouraged to consider the undergirding relationships between stigma and discrimination, and stigma and bias, while strategizing effective ways to dispel and prevent stigma in both interpersonal relationships and other public spaces.


By the end of this lesson, participants will be able to:

  • Define stigma.
  • Name and explain one way HIV-related stigma is made more complex for multiply-marginalized communities.
  • Explain the relationship between stigma and bias.
  • Assess one’s own implicit and explicit biases.
  • Develop at least three strategies for identifying and addressing stigma in interpersonal or institutional spaces.

Included in this Lesson

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Group Size

This lesson plan is designed to accommodate 8–12 individuals. Groups that are larger or smaller can still be conducted; however, adjustments for those sizes will need to be made.


90 minutes


Easel with flip chart paper
Clear tape
Writing utensils
Printed handouts