Study of HIV/AIDS related stigma and discrimination in people living with HIV AIDS
Author(s): Patankar Fazila N, Pandit Daksha D
Background: HIV/AIDS-related stigma can be described as a „process of devaluation??? of people either living with or associated with HIV/AIDS. The impact of HIV/AIDS related stigma and discrimination as a catalyst in the spread of the epidemic has yet to be understood.
Objective: To study HIV related stigma experienced by PLWHA and to study the different forms of discrimination faced by PLWHA.
Methods: Every 3rd person attending the Integrated OPD was randomly selected. Total of 186 patients were included in the study over a period of 1 year. Data regarding stigma and discrimination experienced by the subjects was collected with a pretested questionnaire. Analysis was done with Microsoft Excel and Epi Info. Chi square test was applied wherever appropriate.
Results: 95.12% females and 89.02% males faced discrimination in the form of segregation of food, clothing, sleeping and toilet arrangements.28.49% reported discrimination in health care setting of which 71.7% reported discrimination was more in hospital admitted patients than OPD, majority of these were discriminated by nurses-77.36% and reported difference in treatment ,60.38% reported segregation and 37.74% reported refusal of treatment on grounds of HIV.PLWHA have various HIV/AIDS related stigmas associated with negative self image, personalized stigma, concerns with public attitudes towards PLWHA and concerns regarding disclosure.
Conclusion: PLWHA should have a greater involvement in their own care and treatment. Training programmes for all categories of health care providers for bringing about change in their behavior with reference to dealing with patients with HIV/ AIDS are needed. Media, community and NGO???s can play important role.