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People with long COVID may have dizziness, headaches, sleep problems, sluggish thinking, and many other problems. But they can also face another problem—stigma.

Most people with long COVID find they're facing stigma due to their condition, according to a new report from researchers in the United Kingdom. In short: Relatives and friends may not believe they're truly sick.

The U.K. team found that more than three-quarters of people studied had experienced stigma often or always.

In fact, 95% of people with long COVID faced at least one type of stigma at least sometimes, according to the study, published in November in the journal PLOS One. Those conclusions had surprised the study's lead researcher, Marija Pantelic, PhD, a public health lecturer at Brighton and Sussex Medical School.

"After years of working on HIV-related stigma, I was shocked to see how many people were turning a blind eye to and dismissing the difficulties experienced by people with long COVID," Pantelic says. "It has also been clear to me from the start that this stigma is detrimental not just for people's dignity, but also public health."

Even some doctors argue that the growing attention paid to long COVID is excessive. Head over to Medscape to read the full story.