Eliminating Stigmatizing Language

Members of the public health community worldwide have been working for almost five years to promote the avoidance of harmful and stigmatizing language used in TB care. Language such as “defaulter”, “suspect”, and “control” is not only hurtful but also judgmental, criminalizing, and places blame on patients. Heartland has committed to join forces with patient advocates from the Global TB Community, the International Union Against TB and Lung Disease, and the National Society of TB Clinicians’ to eliminate stigmatizing language. We are proud to introduce “Stop the Stigma”, a campaign to spread awareness and promote elimination of the use of stigmatizing language by the public health workforce. We would like to invite you to join us and pledge yourself, your organization, and challenge others to pledge as well.

Our Challenge to You

Commit to using language that is patient centered, appropriate and sensitive and represents the dignity of people with TB and their families.

Sign the pledge: By signing the pledge, you are committing to stop the use of stigmatizing language when caring for persons and their families whose lives have been affected by TB. As a public health worker and leader in the field of tuberculosis, you pledge to adopt patient centered terminology that is appropriate, sensitive, and represents the dignity of people with TB and their families.

We will fill out a pledge card with your name on it and add it to other pledges. This banner is located at Heartland National TB Center on the campus of Texas Center for Infectious Disease a TB hospital located in San Antonio, Texas. This banner is visible to patients, health care workers, and visitors to the Heartland center.

Take a picture: Take a picture holding your “I Pledged” sign and email it to edgar.salinas@uthct.edu. We will add you to our Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Challenge others: Challenge others to join in your commitment. Let them know that you have made the commitment and would like to encourage them to do the same.

Download and print the project brochure to display or present the project to your partners. Print a copy of the pledge form for them to sign and email to edgar.salinas@uthct.edu.