Stigma among HIV-positive women complex and overlapping

November 22, 2011

In this week's PLoS Medicine, Mona Loutfy of the University of Toronto, Canada and colleagues report their study examining experiences of stigma and coping strategies among HIV-positive women in Ontario, Canada.

Using focus groups, the researchers found that women attributed their experiences of stigma and discrimination to HIV-related stigma, sexism and , racism, homophobia and transphobia, and involvement in sex work. The coping strategies they used included resilience (at a micro level), social networks and support groups (at a meso level), and challenging stigma (at a macro level).

The authors state that: "Overall, this investigation highlights a complex system of intersectional stigma that necessitates multifaceted strategies to promote health equity for HIV-positive women. Findings can inform treatment, care, and support guidelines and practice recommendations for health care practitioners, social workers, and support workers, and mental health specialists working with HIV-positive women."

Explore further: International team explores the stigma surrounding abortion

More information: Logie CH, James L, Tharao W, Loutfy MR (2011) HIV, Gender, Race, Sexual Orientation, and Sex Work: A Qualitative Study of Intersectional Stigma Experienced by HIV-Positive Women in Ontario, Canada. PLoS Med 8(11): e1001124. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001124

Related Stories

International team explores the stigma surrounding abortion

June 28, 2011

An international team of researchers says abortion stigma is under-researched, under theorized and over emphasized in one category: women who've had abortions. As a result, they're launching a new direction into research ...

Recommended for you

Targeting HIV in semen to shut down AIDS

August 18, 2015

There may be two new ways to fight AIDS—using a heat shock protein or a small molecule - to attack fibrils in semen associated with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) during the initial phases of infection, according ...

Vitamin D status related to immune response to HIV-1

June 15, 2015

Vitamin D plays an important part in the human immune response and deficiency can leave individuals less able to fight infections like HIV-1. Now an international team of researchers has found that high-dose vitamin D supplementation ...

HVTN 505 vaccine induced antibodies nonspecific for HIV

July 30, 2015

A study by researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Duke University helps explain why the candidate vaccine used in the HVTN 505 clinical trial was not protective against HIV infection ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.