Older African Americans' Management of HIV/AIDS Stigma
January 28, 2010
The study authors aimed to describe HIV/AIDS-related stigma in a population disproportionately affected by the disease, older African Americans living in the South.
Four focus groups were conducted with 24 men and women older than age 50 who had a confirmed HIV diagnosis. Focus group discussions were audiotaped and transcribed for analysis. In addition, two stigma instruments, "Self-Perceptions of HIV Stigma" and "Stigma Impact of HIV," were used to enhance the qualitative focus group data.
Constant comparative data analysis of the focus group discussions revealed four themes related to HIV/AIDS stigma: disclosure; stigma experiences; need for HIV/AIDS education; and acceptance of the disease. Strategies to prevent or decrease anticipated stigma were described, including selective or non-disclosure and not receiving care where they lived. The stigma instruments indicated that the participants had experienced the most stigma related to their internalized shame about being infected with HIV; they had experienced little or no direct stigma.
"The study findings have implications for designing prevention programs and strategies to improve social support for this age group," the authors concluded.
10.2009; Pamela Payne Foster, Susan W. Gaskins
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.