Stigma Is a Disease


Stigma Is a Disease

Opening up the conversation to inspire necessary action to ease the burden that stigma places on individuals and communities


Stigma is the enemy of public health. It has an under-recognized and under-reported negative effect on the ability of individuals and communities to be healthy and thrive. The cycle of stigma affects the prevention and treatment of disease, medical research funding, philanthropic attention, and the general patient-provider relationship. A holistic effort is needed, engaging all stakeholders, to address the direct and indirect effects of the harmful cycle of stigma.

The Milken Institute’s Stigma Is a Disease initiative brings together health leaders for meaningful discussions about the importance of publicly addressing stigma in their communities and enacting corporate and public policies that can ease the burden that stigma places on individuals and communities.

Our work focuses on a number of conditions:

• Obesity and weight bias
• Mental illness
• Substance use disorders
• Infectious diseases
• Skin disorders
• Reproductive health

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Center for Public Health
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730 15th St NW
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Washington, DC 20005

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