Leprosy or Hansen’s disease? Both refer to the same disease. The term used by the Coalition will depend on the historical context and the country in which information is disseminated. For example, at the time heritage sites were established and for much of their existence, the term Hansen’s disease was not in use; therefore in this historical context leprosy will be used. Today, in some countries like Japan and Brazil the preferred term is Hansen’s disease, so in referring to the disease in modern times in these countries, the term Hansen’s disease will be used.
Over centuries and within different languages, various terms and labels have been used to identify an individual diagnosed with leprosy. Today, none of these is considered acceptable. Labels like “leper,” and “Hansenite,” or acronyms like “PAL” and “LAP” are hurtful and offensive to individuals. Terms such as “victim” and sufferer” are also discouraged, and people no longer receiving treatment should not be called “patients.” Instead, a person’s name should be used whenever possible.
photos (left to right): Mr. Laxmanan, India; Şaziye Kurtoğlu,Turkey; Francisco A.V. Nunes, "Bacurau", Brazil with Cai Zhongfu, China; Nicole Holmes, USA