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Perceived stigma and discrimination towards people living with HIV and AIDS in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia a qualitative approach



Perceived stigma and discrimination towards people living with HIV and AIDS in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia a qualitative approach



Journal of Public Health 21(2): 155-162



HIV prevalence in Ethiopia is over 7 % in urban areas. Stigma toward people living with HIV and AIDS hampers prevention, seeking care, and treatment. Subject and methods In Addis Ababa, in 2009, we conducted 12 focus groups (n?=?43), 5 with HIV positive subjects and 7 with subjects of unknown status. Through open-ended questions with directing probes, we evaluated community perception, attitudes, and causes and patterns of stigma towards people living with HIV. We transcribed, coded, analyzed and developed major contextualized themes. Stigma is pervasive, with a wide range of misconceptions about HIV. Contributing factors are: lack of awareness and education, fear, lack of experience with HIV positive community, and limited knowledge about effective treatment. Most participants believed that the slight positive trend in stigma and discrimination is due to better awareness through media and educational programs, and the increased visibility of the HIV epidemic. There is a need to improve individual and community knowledge and to reduce misconception using family- and community-oriented educational programs. A multi-disciplinary approach tailored towards Ethiopian society, emphasizing primarily local community initiatives, and applying nation-wide structural and environmental strategies coupled with international efforts, is warranted.

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Accession: 036538273

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DOI: 10.1007/s10389-012-0533-8


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