Stigma among HIV-positive women complex and overlapping

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."

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

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

International team explores the stigma surrounding abortion

Jun 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

HIV testing yields diagnoses in Kenya but few seek care

55 minutes ago

Between December 2009 and February 2011, health workers with the AMPATH Consortium sought to test and counsel every adult resident in the Bunyala subcounty of Kenya for HIV. A study in the journal Lancet HIV reports that the campaign yielded more than 1,300 new positive diagnoses, but few of those new ...

The adaptability of pathogens

Jan 28, 2015

Drug-resistant HIV viruses can spread rapidly. This is the conclusion of a study conducted as part of the SWISS HIV Cohort Study, which is supported by the SNSF. Only the continuous introduction of new drugs can stop the ...

User 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.