7 June 2018
Women living with HIV perceive many forms of stigma in addition to HIV-related stigma, according to a qualitative study published in the July edition of Social Science & Medicine. Stigma related to living with HIV intersected with stigma associated with gender, race, poverty, incarceration and obesity, according to the interviewees.
“Our findings highlight the complexity of social processes of marginalization, which profoundly shape life experiences, opportunities, and healthcare access and uptake among women living with HIV,” say Whitney Rice and colleagues.
They conducted semi-structured interviews with 76 women living with HIV in Birmingham, Alabama; Jackson, Mississippi; Atlanta, Georgia; and San Francisco, California. The interviewees were invited to describe their experiences of stigma and discrimination, whether in relation to their HIV status or another aspect of their identity.
The majority of interviewees were black (61%), heterosexual (83%), had children (68%) and had a monthly income of less than $1000 (57%).
Most participants were conscious of men having greater power than women. Women said they were undervalued in educational and employment contexts due to their gender. In interpersonal relationships, men would frequently disregard women’s needs and preferences, while parents would typically favour sons over daughters.They also addressed where stigmas related to gender and HIV intersect, in relation to sexual behavior.
Read the full article online here.