Abstract

Introduction: HIV-related stigma is a major social problem of people living with HIV. Stigma against these people, especially women, interferes with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of HIV. This study examined the experiences of HIV infected women who were stigmatized, as well as the strategies used to tackle the issue.

Methods: Twenty-five women living with HIV were examined using in-depth, semi-structured interviews. The data obtained was analyzed using content analysis method in MAXQDA10.

Results: The finding of this study was classified into four themes: fear, shame, rejection by family or friends and feelings of frustration. The participant strategies adopted to the perceived stigma and discrimination included isolation, nondisclosure, and loss of follow-up.  

Conclusions: HIV in women has different social interposition. It is necessary to intervene, so as to alleviate the effect of stigma on HIV infected women, in order that they gain the ability to accomplish wellness, increase life span and improve quality of life. Nurses, midwives and other professionals need to be involved to ensure public policy in providing supportive environments, and decrease stigma.

 

Keywords: Stigma, Discrimination, HIV, AIDS, Qualitative study
 
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