HIV/AIDS-related stigma and its associated prejudice and discrimination

Mphumela, Funeka Jeane (2009-12)

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


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: From the moment scientist identified HIV and AIDS, social responses of fear, denial, stigma and discrimination have accompanied the epidemic. Many people who are HIV positive are too scared to tell others because they fear isolation and rejection. South Africa has reported a large number of incidents of stigma. These include, not allowing HIV positive children into schools (Sapa, 2002; Streak, 2001a), exclusions or attempted exclusions from the workplace (Ngqalaza, 2000a; Viol, 2000), within military services (Ngqalaza, 2000b) etc. On the other hand children orphaned by AIDS experience stigma and discrimination because they face verbal discrimination at schools and in the community (Streak 2001b). At an individual level stigma undermines the person‟s identity and capacity to cope with the disease. Stigma and discrimination play significant roles in the development and maintenance of the HIV epidemic. It is well documented that people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) experience stigma and discrimination on an ongoing basis. This impact goes beyond people infected with HIV to reach broadly into the society, both disrupting the functioning of communities and complicating prevention and treatment of HIV. While there are many instances for compassion and support towards PLWHA, there is a growing body of evidence of HIV related stigma and its associated prejudice and discrimination (Canadian HIV/AIDS Policy and Law 2002; Aggleliton & Parker, 2002; Aggleton 2000; Francis, 2004; Govender, Bhana & Pillay,1992; Mthembu, 1998; UNICEF, 2000; Webb, 1997;Kuhn, Steinburg & Mathews,1994) .These insidious impacts must be acknowledged, if the work to eradicate stigma is to be taken seriously. This research reviews the available scientific literature on HIV/AIDS stigma and discrimination in the Mangaung Local Municipality (MLM). Analysis of this research indicates that stigma and discrimination drives HIV out of the public sight.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Sedert die oomblik toe wetenskaplikes MIV en VIGS die eerste keer geidentifiseer het, het sosiale teenkanting, gekenmerk deur vrees, ontkenning, skande en diskriminasie, die epidemie vergesel. Baie mense wat MIV-positief is, is uit vrees vir isolasie en verwerping, te bang om andere daarvan te vertel. In Suid-Afrika is talle gevalle van insidente wat met stigma verband hou, aangemeld. Voorbeelde hiervan sluit die volgende in: - toelating tot skole aan MIV-positiewe leerders geweier (Sapa, 2002; Streak, 2001a) - uitsluitings en voorgenome uitsluiting uit die werksplek (Ngqalaza, 2000a; Viol, 2000) - uitsluiting van militere diens (Ngqalaza, 2000b) Terselfdertyd ondervind kinders, wat deur VIGS wees gelaat is, stigma en verbale diskriminasie in die skool en in die gemeenskap. Op individuele vlak ondermyn stigma die persoon se identiteit en vermoe om kop bo water te hou. Stigma en diskriminasie speel beide n belangrike rol in die ontwikkeling en instandhouding van die MIV epidemie. Dit is alom bekend dat mense wat met MIV/VIGS lewe, langdurige stigma en diskriminasie ervaar. Die impak hiervan reik veel verder as slegs die mense wat met MIV/VIGS saamleef, tot in die bree samelewing, waar dit die funksionering van gemeenskappe ontwrig, en die voorkoming en behandeling van MIV kompliseer. Alhoewel daar baie voorbeelde van meelewing bekend is, is daar ook toenemende bewys van MIV-verwante stigma en die gepaardgaande vooroordeel en diskriminasie (Canadian HIV/AIDS Policy and Law 2002; Aggleliton & Parker, 2002; Aggleton 2000; Francis, 2004; Govender, Bhana & Pillay, 1992; Mthembu, 1998; UNICEF, 2000; Webb, 1997; Kuhn, Steinburg & Mathews, 1994).

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