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Outsider status: Stigma and discrimination experienced by gay men and African people with HIV

Dodds, Catherine; Keogh, Peter; Chime, Ogo; Haruperi, Thandi; Ssanyu Sseruma, Winnie and Weatherburn, Peter (2004). Outsider status: Stigma and discrimination experienced by gay men and African people with HIV. Sigma Research, London.

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In recent years there has been an increasing amount of international-level policy and research about the negative impact that HIV-related stigma and discrimination have on the well-being of people with HIV and on prevention (Aggleton & Parker 2002, DeBruyn 2002, Nyblade 2003, UNAIDS/WHO 2003, United Nations 2001). It is clear that stigma and discrimination relating to HIV infection are persistent problems for those who have been diagnosed. Evidence gathered in the UK demonstrates that the majority of people living with HIV report the effects of stigma and discrimination in a range of settings (see Scott 2001 for a detailed review). Sigma’s own work investigating the experiences of people living with HIV in the UK has found that just under a quarter experienced discrimination within the previous year while accessing services, social settings, and in public (Weatherburn et al. 2002). Moreover, a study focussing on African people living with HIV in the UK (Weatherburn et al. 2003) revealed that over one third had experienced problems with discrimination in the previous year. This same study revealed that just under half of African people with HIV had not revealed their diagnosis to anyone they lived with, two thirds had not told their employers and a quarter had not told their GP. There is little question that people’s concern about disclosure of their diagnosis bears a direct relationship to their concern that doing so will bring about damaging consequences.

Although the prevalence and impact of stigma and discrimination relating to HIV in the UK is clear, there is little qualitative research that explores the operation of stigma and discrimination as processes and seeks to describe the nature of the relationship between stigma, discrimination and reduced health outcomes (although see Elam, 2004). Case studies and policy reports point to the role of government policy, political leadership and social environments in either worsening or ameliorating the negative effects of stigma and discrimination (Atrill et al. 2001, Kinniburgh et al. 2001, Fortier 2003). This report presents the findings of a study which explores how stigma and discrimination contribute to reduced health and well-being for the two largest groups of people living with HIV in the UK: African migrants and Gay and Bisexual men. In order to do so, it is necessary to critically consider the ways in which stigma and discrimination are theorised and described.

Item Type: Other
Copyright Holders: 2004 Sigma Research
Extra Information: ISBN: 1-872956-76-9
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Item ID: 45012
Depositing User: Peter Keogh
Date Deposited: 24 Dec 2015 12:31
Last Modified: 10 May 2019 13:09
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