People living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) face not only medical problems but also social problems associated with the disease.
One of the barriers to reaching those who are at risk or infected with HIV/AIDS is stigma .
Stigma is generally recognized as an “attribute that is deeply discrediting’’ that reduces the bearer “from a whole and usual person to a tainted, discounted one’’ .
Stigma is also used to set the affected persons or groups apart from the normalized social order (“us’’ against “them’’) and this separation implies devaluation [2, 9, 12, 13].
It isolates people from the community and affects the overall quality of life of HIV patients [2, 3, 6, 7].
Currently, there is an increasing number of research on HIV-related stigma in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Department of Health Promotion, School of Public Health and Primary Care CAPHRI, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, P. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands Received 25 November 2008; Revised ; Accepted 16 June 2009Academic Editor: Jean-Paul Gonzalez Copyright © 2009 Ngozi C. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
The aim of this literature review is to elucidate what is known about HIV/AIDS and stigma in Sub-Saharan Africa.
HIV stigma as a phenomenon was considered to be the major topic of the review and was not limited to any geographical region.
Although HIV/AIDS stigma is a general phenomenon which affects PLWHA in all parts of the world, in this paper, we focused on an analysis of the factors contributing to stigma identified from empirical studies in Sub-Saharan Africa, books, theoretical, and review papers.