Stigma, Discrimination and Living with HIV/AIDS

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It has been suggested that HIV and AIDS have particular traits which initiate a high level of stigma. A major consequence of stigmatisation is “discrimination” and it occurs when an individual “is treated unfairly and unjustly” due to the perception that the individual is deviant from others. HIV and AIDS stigma is perceived as “an individual’s deviance from socially accepted standards of normality”. Hence, people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) are socially constructed as the “other” who are “disgracefully different from and threatening to the general public”. This social construction of people living with HIV/AIDS has significant impact on their health, well-being and care seeking and it is a great public health concern. Thus far, many articles have been written to portray stigma and discrimination which occur with PLWHA in many parts of the world. But there has not been any recent book which attempts to put together results from empirical research relating to stigma, discrimination and living with HIV/AIDS. This book proposal is written with the intention to fill this gap. The focus of this book is on issues relevant to stigma and discrimination which have occurred to individuals and groups in different parts of the globe as well as how these individuals and groups attempt to deal with HIV/AIDS. The book comprises chapters written by researchers who carry out their projects in different parts of the world. Each chapter contains empirical information which is based on real life situations. This can be used as an evidence for health care providers to implement socially and culturally appropriate services to assist individuals and groups who are living with HIV/AIDS in many societies.

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