Support For People With Hansen's Disease/Leprosy

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Facts About Hansen's Disease

Hansen's Disease is Curable

  • Hansen's disease is curable by taking three drugs commonly referred to as multi-drug therapy or MDT.  Millions of individuals have been cured with MDT since it was discovered over 20 years ago.
  • Once a person begins treatment he or she is no longer infectious and cannot spread the disease.
  • Individuals who are diagnosed early and take their medications, will not face long-term physical affects of the disease.

Families Can Remain Together

  • Hansen's disease is difficult to get.  Most people are naturally immune and cannot contract Hansen's disease.  It is estimated that 95% of the world's population has a natural immunity and will not contract the disease.
  • It is not spread through casual contact.  The transmission of Hansen's disease is not known, but it is thought to be spread from one person to another by direct contact over a long period of time.
  • Hansen's disease has been found in all major ethnic groups.

There is No Place for Stigma

  • The word "leper" is offensive and hurtful to individuals and should never be used.  Terms like "victim" and "sufferer" are also discouraged.  Additionally, people no longer receiving treatment should not be called "patients."
  • Always use a person's name.  If talking about a person's disease, use the phrase "a person affected by leprosy" or "a person affected by Hansen's disease."

Prepared by IDEA, The International Association for Integration, Dignity, and Economic Advancement.

IDEA is an international network of support of people affected by Hansen's disease/leprosy, promoting dignity, opportunity, and justice for all.  For more information see our website:

P.O. Box 948, Rex, GA 30273 | Phone: 678.222.6040 (call in the U.S. only)| E-mail: