Beliefs contributing to HIV-related stigma in African and Afro-Caribbean communities in the Netherlands

Sarah E. Stutterheim, Arjan E. R. Bos, Nicole M. C. van Kesteren, Iris Shiripinda, John B. Pryor, Marijn de Bruin, Herman P. Schaalma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Thirty years after the first diagnosis, people living with HIV (PLWH) around the world continue to report stigmatizing experiences. In this study, beliefs contributing to HIV-related stigma in African and Afro-Caribbean diaspora communities and their cultural context were explored through semi-structured interviews with HIV-positive (N=42) and HIV-negative (N=52) African, Antillean and Surinamese diaspora community members in the Netherlands. Beliefs that HIV is highly contagious, that HIV is a very severe disease, and that PLWH are personally responsible for acquiring their HIV infection were found to contribute to HIV-related stigma, as did the belief that PLWH are HIV-positive because they engaged in norm-violating behaviour such as promiscuity, commercial sex work, and, for Afro-Caribbean diaspora, also homosexuality. These beliefs were found to be exacerbated and perpetuated by cultural taboos on talking about HIV and sexuality. HIV-related stigma reduction interventions should focus on changing these beliefs and breaking cultural taboos on HIV and sexuality in a manner that is participatory and consistent with the current theory and empirical findings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)470-484
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Community and Applied Social Psychology
Volume22
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2012

Keywords

  • HIV/AIDS
  • stigma
  • ethnic minorities
  • immigrants
  • community
  • beliefs
  • interventions

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