Stigma and discrimination : the effect on voluntary counseling and testing

Qobolo, Tlotliso (Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch, 2009-12)

Thesis (MPhil (Industrial Psychology))--University of Stellenbosch, 2009.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Countries of the world have put in place various interventions in different sectors and categories of the communities to curb the spread of HIV and AIDS and mitigate its impact. Such interventions include prevention activities like HIV testing and counselling (HTC), care, and support and treatment to name a few. People’s attitudes and perceptions as well as utilization of the services provided under these interventions have been influenced by different factors. One of these factors is stigma and discrimination. Acts of stigma and discrimination have been observed in different settings, and people who are living with and affected by HIV have expressed the different degrees and forms that various groups and individuals have experienced. The study focused on HIV and AIDS related stigma and discrimination, investigated its degree and the extend in which it affects the utilization of Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) services. The purpose of the study was to ascertain whether stigma and discrimination exists, and in what forms, who is being stigmatised and determine how stigma and discrimination affects the uptake or utilization of the Voluntary Counselling and Testing services at the place of work. The study has revealed that stigma and discrimination exists although it is said to be reduced as expressed by the participants, people who are HIV infected continue to be blamed and labelled and subjected to gossips, rejection by co- workers, families. Self stigmatization has also come up clearly that it does prevail and it also undermines the efforts aim at involving PLHIV in the national response. These forms of discrimination create and fuel fear to those who have not tested. Those who have not tested have expressed fear of rejection, fear of blame, fear of losing lovers and partners and fear of not sure how they would cope with HIV positive status. The study has further revealed that stigma and discrimination still has direct link to the utilization of VCT services. It undermines the efforts intended to halt the spread of the infection, programmes aimed at providing care, support as well as treatment.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Wêreldlande plaas verskeie intervensies in verskillede sektore van die gemeenskap om beheer toe te pas in die verspreiding van MIV en vigs om die impak daarvan te verlig. Mense se optrede en persepsie sowel as gebrukmaking van die dienste die intervinsie is beïnvloed deur verskeie faktore, waarvan een van die faktore stigma en diskriminasie is. Gevalle van stigma en diskriminasie is waargeneem in verskillende rigtings en mense met MIV betuig die verskillende grade en vorms wat elkeen ervaar het. Die studie fokus op MIV en vigs wat verband hou met stigma en diskriminasie, ondersoeking en toetsing toon aan dat dit die graad van behandeling deur gewillige beraders erg affekteer. Studies toon aan dat stigma en diskreminasie wel bestaan alhoewel daar gesê word dat dit minder word. Mense met MIV en vigs word kwaadwilliglik blameer en verwerp deur familie en mede-werkerkers. Selfverwyt kom duidelik voor en kry die oorhand en ondemyn die pogings en doelwitte waarmee mense met MIV/vigs in die algemeen optree. Die wat nie getoes is toon duidelike tekens van angs, verwerping en vrees dat hul dalk `n geliefde gaan verloor, en weet nie hoe hul met MIV status gaan saamleef nie. Die studie toon dat stigma en diskriminasie direk verband hou met die gemeeskap van vrywillige toetsing en berading. Dit ondermyn hul pogings om MIV-infeksie te keer, programme stel doelwitte om voorkomende sorg, hulp en ondersteuning sowel as behandeling.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/3407
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