HIV-Related Stigma among People with HIV and their Families: A Qualitative Analysis
ABSTRACT We examined the interconnectedness of stigma experiences in families living with HIV, from the perspective of multiple family members. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 33 families (33 parents with HIV, 27 children under age 18, 19 adult children, and 15 caregivers). Parents were drawn from the HIV Cost and Services Utilization Study, a representative sample of people in care for HIV in US. All of the families recounted experiences with stigma, including 100% of mothers, 88% of fathers, 52% of children, 79% of adult children, and 60% of caregivers. About 97% of families described discrimination fears, 79% of families experienced actual discrimination, and 10% of uninfected family members experienced stigma from association with the parent with HIV. Interpersonal discrimination seemed to stem from fears of contagion. Findings indicate a need for interventions to reduce HIV stigma in the general public and to help families cope with stigma.
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ABSTRACT: HIV disclosure is a complex phenomenon. The choice of disclosure or non-disclosure is a reflection of how each HIV-positive person experiences and deals with HIV/AIDS in their everyday life. In this study, we qualitatively explore the experiences of disclosing HIV status to family members and children among HIV-positive women living in Thailand. Due to fear of stigma and discrimination, the women decided to tell only a few people, usually their significant others including parents and children. Although most women received good support from their family members, some were rejected and discriminated against by their family members. This stems from lack of knowledge about HIV/AIDS among family members. Women found disclosure to their children a difficult decision to make. Only some women told their children about their HIV status. They wished to protect their children from emotional burden. This protection also appeared in their attempts to prepare their children for dealing with HIV/AIDS. Support from family members played a major role in the lives of HIV-positive women. Although disclosure has been promoted as a means of ending stigma and discrimination, our data suggested that disclosure may not be positive for some women. This has implications for health promotion in HIV health care. Healthcare providers need to appreciate the ramifications of promoting disclosure to HIV-positive women who are mothers.Health Promotion International 07/2014; DOI:10.1093/heapro/dau057 · 1.94 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: The Internet provides an opportunity for individuals with HIV/AIDS to obtain support and information in a timely and convenient manner. The present study examines the psychological effects of online support group use for individuals living with HIV/AIDS. METHODS: A total of 340 HIV positive online support group users completed an online survey. RESULTS: Results from structural equation modeling showed that individuals with higher levels of online support group participation had higher levels of empowering processes, which in turn, had higher levels of optimism toward life. Optimism was related to lower levels of loneliness and depression while loneliness was also related to higher levels of depression. CONCLUSION: The findings suggest that participants with higher levels of online support group participation had better psychological health than those with lower levels of participation. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Findings suggest that the use of online support groups could be promoted to individuals with HIV/AIDS. Healthcare professionals should work to increase the motivation and confidence patients have in using online support groups. Health education should also be provided to patients with HIV/AIDS so to improve their skills and literacy in using online support groups.Patient Education and Counseling 05/2013; 93(3). DOI:10.1016/j.pec.2013.04.004 · 2.60 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Previous research has revealed a negative impact of orphanhood and HIV-related stigma on the psychological well-being of children affected by HIV/AIDS. Little is known about psychological protective factors that can mitigate the effect of orphanhood and HIV-related stigma on psychological well-being. This research examines the relationships among several risk and protective factors for depression symptoms using structural equation modeling. Cross-sectional data were collected from 755 AIDS orphans and 466 children of HIV-positive parents aged 6-18 years in 2006-2007 in rural central China. Participants reported their experiences of traumatic events, perceived HIV-related stigma, perceived social support, future orientation, trusting relationships with current caregivers, and depression symptoms. We found that the experience of traumatic events and HIV-related stigma had a direct contributory effect on depression among children affected by HIV/AIDS. Trusting relationships together with future orientation and perceived social support mediated the effects of traumatic events and HIV-related stigma on depression. The final model demonstrated a dynamic interplay among future orientation, perceived social support and trusting relationships. Trusting relationships was the most proximate protective factor for depression. Perceived social support and future orientation were positively related to trusting relationships. We conclude that perceived social support, trusting relationships, and future orientation offer multiple levels of protection that can mitigate the effect of traumatic events and HIV-related stigma on depression. Trusting relationships with caregivers provides the most immediate source of psychological support. Future prevention interventions seeking to improve psychological well-being among children affected by HIV/AIDS should attend to these factors.Social Science [?] Medicine 02/2012; 74(9):1435-43. DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.01.007 · 2.56 Impact Factor