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“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”

Miscellaneous Articles on the Stigma of Infectious Diseases

We offer a monthly newsletter dealing with the various issues surrounding infectious diseases.  To find out more click HERE.

 

 


Main topics can be found within the left column; sub-topics and/or research reports can be found near the bottom of this page.  Thank you

 

"Among the findings and results of the study are the following:

Knowledge about STDs, HIV/AIDS and family planning is directly affected by exposure to adequate information. Misinformation, erroneous concepts and negative perspectives are important in the development of fears, rumors and taboos regarding STDs and HIV/AIDS. The influence of previous experience, gender and religion was also identified.

Stigmas and negative attitudes towards people with HIV/AIDS inhibit awareness of one's own risk.

The project resulted in the implementation of strategies for the strengthening and development of interventions in the area of IECC. "

—Qualitative Study on the Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices Regarding STDs and HIV/AIDS with Focus Groups from the STDs and HIV/AIDS Prevention Pilot Project

Level of Hepatitis C knowledge

"Only 16% of the surgical residents knew that there was a vaccine for hepatitis A. Though 84% knew that there was no vaccine for hepatitis C, the majority (56%) were unaware that Hepatitis C Virus was a sexually transmitted disease and 82% did not know about the possibility of it being transmitted perinatally. Of all the subjects, 93% knew that Hepatitis C Virus could be transmitted through blood transfusion and 88% knew about its transmission through a needle-stick injury. As well, 65% did not know that Hepatitis C Virus is initially asymptomatic. Knowledge about the complications of Hepatitis C Virus was adequate. Most of the residents were unaware of the physical properties of the virus, i.e., what destroys it, thus they incorrectly estimated the seroconversion rates with exposure to patients. This finding correlates with another study.23 Overall, there were significant gaps in the knowledge of the hepatitis C virus transmission.

Attitudes

With regards to attitudes towards Hepatitis C Virus, 42% of the respondents said they would tell their patients about their own Hepatitis C Virus seropositivity and 64% of residents did not believe in interferon therapy. Of all the respondents, 40% were in a habit of reading medical literature at least once a week."

—Hepatitis C: Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices among Orthopedic trainee surgeons in Pakistan

ADDITIONAL ARTICLES:

Document Name & Link to Document Description

File Size /pdf

Naming Stigma Through Key Questions.

Method for determining if stigma exists in a community

2,701 kb pdf 

NATIONAL AIDS  PREVENTION AND CONTROL POLICY

In India the Human Immunodeficiency Virus/ Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) epidemic is now 15 years old. Within this short period it has emerged as one of the most serious public health problems in the country. The initial cases of HIV/AIDS were reported among commercial sex workers in Mumbai and Chennai and injecting drug users in the north-eastern State of Manipur . The infection has since then spread rapidly in the areas adjoining these epicenters and by 1996 Maharashtra , Tamil Nadu and Manipur together accounted for 77 per cent of the total AIDS cases with Maharashtra reporting almost half the number of cases in the country

 

Negating the stigma associated with certain diseases

The shame of their drug addiction and alcoholism means that they have put off seeking treatment as long as possible. In the process, they have destroyed their social support network, and many have comorbidities connected to their addiction.

 

On Stigma and its Public Health Implications

One of the curious features of literature concerning stigma is the variability that exists in the definition of the concept (Stafford and Scott 1986). In many circumstances investigators provide no explicit definition and seem to refer to something like the dictionary definition ("a mark of disgrace") or to some related aspect like stereotyping or rejection (e.g. a social distance scale). When stigma is explicitly defined many commentators turn to Goffman quoting his definition of stigma as an "attribute that is deeply discrediting" and that reduces the bearer "from a whole and usual person to a tainted, discounted one"

 

ORGANIZATIONS THAT FIGHT
DISCRIMINATION AND STIGMA

Each of the organizations below has as one of its goals the reduction of mental illness stigma.  For some, stigma reduction is a major focus of their activities; for others it is one of many functions.  Descriptions below are taken from the organizations' materials.  To learn more about an organization

 

Out of sight and out of mind

One of this year's themes for World AIDS Day is Out of sight - Out of Mind - Stigma and Complacency. The year 2000 saw the highest number of new infections since recording began. Improvements in treatments has lead to people with HIV living longer, with much improved health. Evidence points to increased complacency.

 

Overcoming the stigma of chronic illness-Strategies for ‘straightening out’ a spoiled identity This paper addresses the concept of chronic illness as a socially constructed experience of stigma.  The stigma of having a chronic illness affects the person’s self-concept, capacity to adapt to the illness and the quality of his/her social networks.  Social stigma is a de-legitimizing social process derived from both popular and medical views of chronic illness.  Based on research into the coping strategies of a range of people with long-term, serious chronic illnesses, the paper argues that Government health policies and services in Australia can best help people with chronic illness by supporting their self-help groups and community-based activities. 106 kb pdf
People with psoriasis 'shunned'

49% would not want to kiss or hug a person with psoriasis, 45% would not want to share a swimming pool with someone with psoriasis, 42% would not eat food prepared by someone who had psoriasis18% would not want to do any of these

 

PHENOMENOLOGY

Phenomenology is a movement in philosophy that has been adapted by certain sociologists to promote an understanding of the relationship between states of individual consciousness and social life. As an approach within sociology, phenomenology seeks to reveal how human awareness is implicated in the production of social action, social situations and social worlds

 

PLAGUE AND PUBLIC HEALTH IN RENAISSANCE EUROPE

This was a society which defined itself as Christian and recurrent plague changed religious practice, if not belief. Christians had long venerated saints as models of the godly life and as mediators before God, in this case an angry and vengeful one. A whole new series of "plague saints" (like St. Roch) came into existence along with new religious brotherhoods and shrines dedicated to protecting the population from plague. The recurrence of plague also affected the general understanding of public health. Beginning in Italy in the 1350s there were new initiatives aimed at raising the level of public sanitation and governmental regulation of public life. And, finally, by the sixteenth century a debate over the causes of plague spread in the medical community as old corruption theories inherited from Greece and Rome were replaced by ideas of contagion. The story of plague in Renaissance society is not merely a medical, religious or economic subject. To properly understand the impact of plague it is necessary to consider almost all aspects of society, from art and music to science.

 

Plagues Today--and Yesterday The World Health Organization has often warned that plagues and epidemics are only one plane-ride away. This was certainly true for AIDS thirty years ago, and has also been the case with SARS. Talking about plagues and diseases is not the pleasantest thing to read on a lovely Santa Cruz summer day, but there are good reasons for understanding the prospects for us today and in the near future.  

Plight of the Untouchables

In China, few of the increasing number of people infected with the AIDS virus identify themselves publicly. If word leaks out that a person has contracted the virus, whether or not AIDS symptoms are apparent, dire consequences follow. School officials bar infected students from classes. Supervisors summarily fire infected employees. Close friends and neighbors join with local officials to expel the infected person and his or her family from the community.

 

Positive Stigma: Examining Resilience and Empowerment in Overcoming Stigma

Considering the weight of the consequences associated with stigma, stigma research has understandably focused on the detrimental effects of stigmatization, paying attention to how stigmatized individuals are devalued, exposed to prejudices, and negatively stereotyped (Crocker and Quinn 2000). As a result, this body of work paints a grim picture suggesting that targets of stigma are doomed to lives of rejection, despair, and failure. Pdf 71 kb
Positively Abandoned Stigma and Discrimination against HIV-Positive Mothers and their Children in Russia Russia is home to one of the fastest-growing and potentially massive AIDS epidemics in the world, but the government has done little to address the problem. As a result, the Russian public today, though highly educated, is almost as ignorant of HIV and how it is spread as it was ten years ago, when AIDS was hardly known in Russia. A great many medical personnel still remain grossly uninformed and even hostile toward HIV-positive patients. The general public’s knowledge of the virus is, accordingly, extremely limited. Pdf 303 kb
Prejudice from Thin Air: The effect of Emotion on Automatic Intergroup Attitudes Two experiments provide initial evidence that specific emotional states are capable of creating automatic prejudice toward outgroups.  Specifically, we propose that anger should influence automatic evaluations of outgroups because of its functional relevance to intergroup conflict and competition, whereas other negative emotions less relevant to intergroup relations should not. 162 kb pdf

Preventing Discrimination and Reducing Stigma and Isolation

In order to provide better access to health services for people with hepatitis C, it is particularly important that the discrimination common in health care settings is acknowledged and actively challenged

413 kb pdf

Reducing Stigma and Raising Awareness: The APHIA II Nairobi/Central Advocates Since the early days of the HIV epidemic in Kenya, stigma has surrounded the disease, discouraging people from discovering their status or seeking help when they most need it. Because of communities’ fear and misunderstanding of the disease, People Living With HIV (PLWH) have lost their jobs, been shunned from religious and other social groups, and faced discrimination and isolation from their own families. 545 kb pdf

REFRAMING WOMEN'S RISK: Social Inequalities and HIV Infection

Social inequalities lie at the heart of risk of HIV infection among women in the United States. As of December, 1995, 71,818 US women had developed AIDS-defining diagnoses. These women have been disproportionately poor, African-American, and Latina. Their neighborhoods have been burdened by poverty, racism, crack cocaine, heroin, and violence.

 

Religious Leaders

As religious people there is a call to respond with love to everyone, especially those who are suffering.  People living with HIV/AIDS have many physical, emotional and spiritual needs.  However, PWAs are frequently afraid to approach their religious leaders for fear of facing condemnation, rejection and judgment, with the result that may lack the spiritual care and support they need and deserve

Pdf 410 kb

Report of the National Conference on Human Rights and HIV/AIDS

HIV/AIDS  is not merely a medical problem: the manner in which the virus is impacting upon society reveals the intricate way in which social, economic, cultural, political and legal factors act together to make certain sections of society more vulnerable. The epidemic exposes the method and the impact of marginalisation and inequality in clear terms. Marginalised groups in our society have little or no access to basic fundamental and Human Rights such as food, medical services and information. Many of these groups are ostracised by society at large, and their lifestyles criminalized, making it practically impossible for them to participate in mainstream processes whereby they could demand their rights. Coupled with this dismal situation, there is minimal awareness about HIV and no real options for safer lifestyles. The stark reality of the HIV/AIDS epidemic is thus that people are becoming HIV positive because they have no access to basic fundamental Human Rights. For the same reasons, the impact of infection is a lot graver for those with no access to rights. It is time to recognise this link between marginalisation, Human Rights and vulnerability.

 

Review: Health care research

The HIV/AIDS epidemic has caused enormous strains on health systems, whilst home-care of the sick, as well as the increasing number of orphans has also put a strain on families and local communities.

 

ROLE OF THE COMMUNITY (CBOs, NGOS/YMCA)

STDs, including HIV/ AIDS, spread fastest where there is poverty, powerlessness and social instability. The disintegration of community and family life in refugee situations leads to the break-up of stable relationships and the disruption of social norms governing sexual behaviour. Women and children are frequently coerced into having sex to obtain basic needs, such as shelter, security, food and money.

 

Rooting Out AIDS-Related Stigma and Discrimination

A debate over how best to weed out AIDS-related stigma and resulting discrimination is growing within international health circles, as experts try to address these stubborn obstacles to HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. While there is increased consensus that HIV/AIDS programs must tackle these issues directly, researchers have yet to find an effective means of tracking changes in attitudes toward infected people.

"You have to recognize which kinds of stigma and discrimination are harmful for disease control," explains Dr. James W. Curran, an AIDS epidemiologist and professor at Emory University in Atlanta. "It depends on the country; it depends on the laws, the values, the particular subculture. The issues have to be identified and then they have to be combated. It's like weeds in a garden; you have to keep pulling."
 

School-related Issues Among HIV-Infected Children

Only 3% of school-age children were too ill to attend school, and almost all were enrolled in public schools. The number of HIV-infected children reaching school age will continue to grow, and public schools will bear the responsibility for educating these children. Health care providers will increasingly be called upon for guidance by both educators and families to assure that HIV-infected children receive the best education possible.

 

Sexual Prejudice:
Motivations

A variety of motivations underlie sexual prejudice. One way to understand those motives is to ask how a particular heterosexual's antigay attitudes benefit her or him psychologically.

 

Shaking off 'shame' In a civilized society, people should not be scared to talk about their ailments -- especially when the illness may have been contracted from medical product infected with a potentially fatal virus. Yet in Japan, between 1980 and 2001, an estimated 10,000 people may have been infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) after being injected with a tainted blood coagulant during labor or surgery -- but most choose to keep their condition secret.  

Situation analysis of discrimination and stigmatization against people living with HIV/AIDS in West and Central Africa

The documentation of cases of discrimination and stigmationization was facilitated by PLWHA, their families, Ngos, and associations of support and defense of the rights of people infected and affected by the epidemic, who enabled us to give a voice and human face to AIDS

1,437 kb pdf

Social Inequalities & infectious diseases

Although many who study emerging infections subscribe to social-production-of-disease theories, few have examined the contribution of social inequalities to disease emergence.

Pdf 217 kb

Stigma and Acceptance of Persons with Disabilities We explore this critical aspect of the social context by investigating employee acceptance of a coworker who has a disability.  We conceptualize acceptance specifically in terms of an incumbent employee’s attitude toward a coworker who has a disability, perceptions, of fairness of accommodations the coworker receives, and employment judgments about that coworker (with respect to hiring, promoting, and retaining. 144 kb pdf

Stigma and AIDS: Three Layers of Damage

Stigmata associated with HIV/AIDS can be organized into three layers

 

Stigma and Discrimination Defined [Erving] Goffman defined stigma as an "attribute that is deeply discrediting" that reduces the bearer "from a whole and usual person to a tainted, discounted one." Since Goffman, alternative definitions have varied considerably. Two reasons for this variation are that the concept has been applied to an enormous array of different circumstances -- from schizophrenia to exotic dancing -- and that it has been studied from the perspective of many disciplines. We attempt to advance the study of stigma by proposing a definition that encompasses these differences and that attends to important critiques noting that much theory about stigma is uninformed by the lived experience of the people being studied and that research on stigma has an individualistic focus, viewing stigmas as something in the person rather than a designation that others affix to the person.  

Stigma and discrimination is the theme

From the moment scientists identified HIV and AIDS, social responses of fear, denial, stigma and discrimination have accompanied the epidemic. Discrimination has spread rapidly, fuelling anxiety and prejudice against the groups most affected, as well as those living with HIV or AIDS.

 

Stigma as a Barrier to Recovery: The Consequences of Stigma for the Self-Esteem of People With Mental Illnesses One of the most tragic consequences of the stigma of mental illness is the possibility that it engenders a significant loss of self-esteem—specifically, that the stigma of mental illness leads a substantial proportion of people who develop such illnesses to conclude that they are failures or that they have little to be proud of.  

Stigma, Discrimination and the Conspiracy of Silence

Stigma and discrimination fuel the HIV/AIDS epidemic by creating a culture of secrecy, silence, ignorance, blame, shame and victimisation, says the International Council of Nurses (ICN).  "Stigma prevents communities from addressing HIV/AIDS with the appropriate health care services, legal and educational strategies," declared ICN president Christine Hancock. "What stops them is HIV prejudice

 

STIGMA EXAMINE YOUR OWN ATTITUDE What is stigma? Why is it that being stigmatized in some way carries an assumption of something negative. The word itself – STIGMA- seems to sound and feel somewhat ugly. With addictive disorders the meaning of stigma is multiplied one hundred times fold and it is tremendously shame based. That’s right – shame. You see, I’m a recovering alcoholic/addict and I know what shame is. Coming into treatment I’ve brought with me a bag of regretful, shameful episodes and had hoped that by sharing them with my treatment brethren and therapeutically resolving them through clinical assistance, the burdens of shame would disappear. However, due to the high expectations of abstinence being the measuring stick of success, any relapses would once again reintroduce all of the baggage of my past. Pdf 82 kb

Stigma, HIV/AIDS and Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission

For some time now, HIV/AIDS-related stigma has been a major stumbling block in addressing HIV prevention, treatment, and care worldwide. In mid-2001, the Panos Institute Global AIDS Programme and UNICEF initiated a pilot project to explore the complexities of this stigma in greater depth. The long-term aims of this work were to promote greater understanding among policymakers and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) of the causes, expressions, and impact of such stigma and what action might be taken to reduce it.

 

STIGMA IN GLOBAL CONTEXT: MENTAL HEALTH STUDY The public health ramifications of not knowing the underlying workings of stigma are costly.  According to the Surgeon General of the U.S., stigma is the “most formidable obstacle to future progress in the arena of mental illness and health” (1999:3).  Similarly, the WHO and the World Psychiatric Association mark public stigma and discrimination as the critical barrier to the appropriate care and inclusion of persons with MI in society, and as the “chief nemesis” to improving and assuring the quality of life for persons with severe mental illness  
Stigma, Race, and Disease in 20th Century America: An Historical Overview In this paper I focus on only a few disorders in order to illustrate this interaction of disease, race, and stigma.  Let us first consider hookworm in the early 20th century (a disorder prevalent in the American South, and a disease designated as the ‘germ of laziness’ because of the anemia and lethargy associated with hookworm infection); and a disease that, some believed, has special relation to the American Negro.  Tuberculosis, a major cause of mortality and morbidity in nineteenth and early twentieth century America, (and still today in the developing world), and one among several infectious diseases for which one southern physician could write in 1932, that in “the safeguarding of the health of the Negro… [was not a] fight… against disease, but against physical, mental, and moral inferiority, against ignorance and superstition, against poverty and filth.”  In many of such diseases, as I have noted elsewhere, one image dominated – it was the image of “the carriers” (a portrait of a social menace whose collective ‘superstitions, ignorance, and carefree demeanor stood as a stubborn affront to modern notions of hygiene and advancing scientific understanding… [a people best understood as] … a disease vector…”      We see this image clearly exemplified in an image in a 1914 Atlanta Constitution newspaper, republished recently in Tera Hunter’s history of black women in the South.  In the context of an economy where black people worked as cooks, gardeners, domestic servants, and caregivers in white homes, this image of the black woman as “disease vector” highlighted a particularly prevalent, pervasive, and long-lasting anxiety (one that, I should say, continues to exist in contemporary global health discussions today).  
Stigma, shame, and blame experienced by patients with lung cancer: qualitative study Participants experienced stigma commonly felt by patients with other types of cancer, but, whether they smoked or not, they felt particularly stigmatised because the disease is so strongly associated with smoking. Interaction with family, friends, and doctors was often affected as a result, and many patients, particularly those who had stopped smoking years ago or had never smoked, felt unjustly blamed for their illness. Those who resisted victim blaming maintained that the real culprits were tobacco companies with unscrupulous policies. Some patients concealed their illness, which sometimes had adverse financial consequences or made it hard for them to gain support from other people. Some indicated that newspaper and television reports may have added to the stigma: television advertisements aim to put young people off tobacco, but they usually portray a dreadful death, which may exacerbate fear and anxiety. A few patients were worried that diagnosis, access to care, and research into lung cancer might be adversely affected by the stigma attached to the disease and those who smoke  
Stigma, Threat, and Social Interactions Many theorists have explicitly or implicitly woven stigma into their explanations of stereotyping, prejudice, social justice, and social identity. Researchers have accumulated a wealth of information regarding the impact of stigmatized others (or “targets”) on affective and cognitive processes of perceivers and a more modest but substantial amount of information regarding the impact of a stigma on the bearer.  Researchers have also accumulated much knowledge on the social identity of the stigmatized, the consequences of membership in stigmatized groups, and coping with stigma  
Stigmatisation and discrimination of people living with HIV/AIDS in Maputo, Mozambique. Stigmatisation and discrimination of people infected by HIV/AIDS is a common phenomenon all over the world. These tendencies are often a result of lack of knowledge that leads to fear based on prejudices. Stigma and discrimination rarely act as single factors. In most cases it is a result of different factors such as gender, poverty, ethnicity and marginalised groups. Freedom from any kind of discrimination is a fundamental human right valid for all people in the world. All international human rights instruments and the African Charter prohibit discrimination based on race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, fortune, birth or other status. Pdf 385 kb

Stigmatization & Discrimination

The AIDS has become synonymous with stigma, ostracism, repression and discrimination, as individuals affected by HIV have been rejected by their families, their loved ones and their communities. This rejection holds as true in the rich countries of the north as it does in the poorer and developing countries of the south. 

 

Strategies for working on the theme “stigma” Often stigma is not due to the presence of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. Instead it is due to a whole series of assumptions about what the presence of the virus implies. These assumptions can relate to class-status, sexual morality, hygiene, gender, ethnicity and so on. So when a woman living with HIV is refused a job in Johannesburg, this may be as much to do with the employer’s social prejudices, as it has with the fear of the virus, and the workers long-term health prospects.  

Striking Lack of Awareness

"People with hepatitis C infection deserve the same tools as those with HIV so that they can become experts about their virus," explains Michael Marco in the introduction to TAG's latest analysis of hepatitis C research and treatment.

 

Surveillance, Social Risk, and Symbolism: Framing the Analysis for Research and Policy

Rather than focusing piecemeal on specific "barriers" to testing and care, an appreciation of the surveillance debate in context suggests a positive undertaking in public health policy to provide the conditions of opportunity, information, motivation and confidence that people with HIV need to accept an effective program of early intervention.

 

The 1832 Cholera Epidemic in New York State:19th Century Responses to Cholerae Vibrio

In all probability, most New Yorkers, if they had been asked in 1831-2 what they believed to have been cause of cholera, would have answered that cholera/disease was some form of righteous consequence which afflicted those who were least likely to be in God's grace. As further proof they would cite that Cholera most often affected those persons who lived dissolute, alcoholic, drug related, sexually excessive, and filth ridden lives; cholera's victims were simply being punished by God. It was the consequence of sin and "was the inevitable and inescapable judgment" of the Divine Power. "Cholera was a scourge not of mankind but of the sinner."

 

The Bearer’s Responsibility Characteristic of Stigma for Hepatitis-Results of a Survey Research article dealing with the stigma of Hepatitis  
The Face of AIDS Through a Child’s Eyes One of the tragic side effects of poverty is hopelessness.  And when you add a disease like HIV/AIDS on top of poverty, hopelessness is compounded to the point of abject despair.  “This disease really brings out who we are as Christians.” 478 kb pdf

The Impact of Faith-Based organizations on HIV/AIDS prevention and Mitigation in Africa

FBOs often have a direct impact on social institutions, such as schools, which socialize people and change values over time. In addition, their jurisdiction often includes a number of areas closely connected to HIV/AIDS, such as morality, beliefs about the spiritual bases of disease, and rules of family life and sexual activity.

503 kb pdf

THE MEANING AND CONSEQUENCES OF PERCEIVED DISCRIMINATION IN DISADVANTAGED AND PRIVILEGED SOCIAL GROUPS

 

The subjective meaning and consequences of perceived discrimination depends on the position of one's group in the social structure. For members of disadvantaged groups, attributions to prejudice are likely to be internal, stable, uncontrollable, and convey widespread exclusion and devaluation of one’s group. For members of privileged groups, the meaning of attributions to prejudice is more localized. Because of such meaning differences, attributions to prejudice are considerably more harmful for the psychological well-being of members of disadvantaged groups than they are for members of privileged groups  

The Middle-Class Plague: Epidemic Polio and the Canadian State, 1936-1937

Until the Salk and Sabin vaccines were introduced in 1955 and 1962, respectively, paralytic poliomyelitis was one of the most feared diseases of twentieth-century North America. Indeed, during the two or three decades before 1955, parents told their children to "to regard [polio] as a fierce monster that lurked in the damp hollows of their experience," and personified the disease as "a grim terror... more menacing, more sinister than death itself."(1) This frightening imagery, generated and magnified each summer -- "polio season" -- by the popular press, shaped a unique Canadian response to this disease

 

The Moral Tragedy of Chronic Illness This simple question presents some of the most profound ethical questions raised when an illness is chronic. And it also reveals some of the uniquely problematic and disturbing aspects of America's utter failure to deal with the realities of chronic illness.  
The Role of Religious Leaders in Reducing Stigma and Discrimination Religious leaders have a unique catalytic role to play in addressing stigma and discrimination within communities.  Religious leaders can influence a community’s response.  Unfortunately, many religious leaders have spoken in judgment against HIV/AIDS equating it to sin that afflicts un-believers and those who have fallen short in their morals.  Ironically, religion is full of hope for those who suffer and this can be translated into action to support those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.  
The stigmatisation of sex workers Stigmatisation and discrimination against sex workers are important issues to be aware of in the context of equal access to quality health care services and the attitudes of health workers. Health care is not a guaranteed service for sex workers, whose work, in addition to being illegal, is considered 'immoral' by many. The HIV/AIDS epidemic is of particular importance, with countries who openly and practically address the institution of sex work and the needs of sex workers (for example by providing condoms, access to voluntary counselling and testing, and by applying harm reduction) experiencing greater success in curbing HIV prevalence rates overall. Addressing violence against sex workers should form an integral part of HIV/AIDS-related interventions in this sector  

The Study of Potentially Stigmatizing Condition: An Epidemiolobic Perspective

That various medical conditions or diseases and behaviors are stigmatizing within human society is attested to by numerous early written works, including the Bible.  In the Old Testament, a skin disease commonly believed to have been leprosy is clearly portrayed as a divine punishment for moral lapses and as a cause for removal from society and social isolation.  Some conditions, such as leprosy, appear to have been severely stigmatizing in virtually every known culture and time period for which evidence exists.  Other conditions and behaviors, however, such as mental retardation and abuse of women, have almost certainly been met by widely varying degrees of approbation or acceptance in different cultures and at different times in the history of or by different strata of the same culture.

 

The tendency to stigmatise This time-honoured propensity has probably served humankind and its ancestors well in the service of species and related personal survival. Such biological mechanisms as those subserving immediate survival, the quest for food, reproduction and related territorial needs are presumably its foundation. Moreover, the crudity of categorisation and labelling of related perceived possible threats needs, constitutionally, to be safely over-inclusive, before juggling the consequent options of relating to, coming to dominate, fleeing from or ignoring the source  

Through the Looking Glass: The health and socio-economic status of hepatitis C positive Transfusion Recipients

This study deals with the socio and economic impact of transfusion recipients and what occurs to them over time

305 kb pdf

UKRAINE-Drug policies, etc.pdf Although data are incomplete, the Ukraine is apparently experiencing a dramatic but increase in HIV cases, with the majority attributable directly or indirectly to injection drug use. 75 kb pdf
Understanding HIV and AIDS-related Stigma and Discrimination in Vietnam Findings show that women living with HIV and AIDS tend to be more highly stigmatized than men due to a combination of the commonly-held assumption that HIV is acquired through immoral means, and social expectations that women should uphold the moral integrity of family and society while men can be more self-indulgent.  While women tend to be “blamed” for acquiring HIV and AIDS, men are often forgiven by family and society. 651 kb pdf
Video- EAAPSA 30 second video dealing with Stigma  
Video-Voices of AIDS 8 minute video dealing with Stigma of AIDS  
Welfare Fraud and Welfare Stigma The paper argues that welfare fraud and welfare stigma, apparently two phenomena of opposite nature, may be modeled with the aid of a single apparatus, thus allowing a comparative investigation of participants’ take-up of welfare benefits. 71 kb pdf

Who cares for family and friends?: providing palliative care at home

This study describes the care provided by family and friends for palliative care patients at home including the provision of practical assistance in a range of activities and domestic chores. It also examines the changes that occur in the care provided by family and friends with the introduction of a consultative palliative care service. Finally, it examines the effect of a palliative care service on carers both in terms of their role relationships and the impact on their health and well-being.

 

World AIDS day 2003

 According to UNAIDS estimates there were 37 million adults and 2.5 million children living with HIV at the end of 2003, and during the year 5 million new people became infected with the virus. Around half of all people who become infected with HIV do so before they are 25 and are killed by AIDS before they are 35

 


 

 

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