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 journalArticle

8 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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