Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 60390
Stigmatisation of People Living with HIV/AIDS as an Obstacle to Prevention of HIV

Authors: Vicent Lwanga

Abstract:

Background: Despite sensitization workshops that have been going on in rural areas in Kapchorwa District in Uganda to prevent stigmatization of People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), interview with PLWHA sows that they are still being stigmatized. This behavior of some people within the community possesses a serious danger to the successful prevention and control of HIV in our society. Evidence exists that some people still believe that eating, living together, and even discussing with PLWHA might make them infected, too, despite all persuasions against such attitude. Description: A face to face interview with some selected PLWHA in Kapchorwa, testified that stigmatization against those who have disclosed their status still lingers on. The interviews with the PLWHA reveals that people still believe that they are being bewitched and cursed by God for their sins, and as such, people keep away from them to avoid the wrath of God. Findings: The more the stigmatization against the PLWHA persists, the more difficult it will be to successfully prevent, control, and eradicate HIV in the society. This is because many PLWHA would prefer not to be identified if they are not shown love and care. Conclusion: A more continuous campaign to stop the stigmatization of PLWHA needs to be on-going. This could be done more effectively by Community-Based Organisations (CBOs) with workshops, print media, and seminars.

Keywords: HIV, AIDS, Community, stigma

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