The International Planned Parenthood Federation is using newspaper ads showing a petri dish growing a world map to highlight how the Aids epidemic is being fuelled by a climate of stigma and fear.

The newspaper ads, designed by ad agency Feel, were timed to coincide with World Aids Day on Monday to raise public awareness of how the stigma of HIV/Aids hampers access to the information and services people need to protect themselves against the disease. "We believe that there are two epidemics - the disease itself and the stigma and myths surrounding it," said Fiona Salter, IPPF spokeswoman. "The stigma felt by those living with HIV/Aids and the discrimination they face are major obstacles to our work to provide treatment, care and support to people across the world."

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