A community–based HIV stigma reduction and wellness enhancement intervention for people living with HIV and a close family member
Pretorius, Johanna Beatrix
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The diagnosis of HIV is a life-changing event that requires people to deal with the disease, as well as cope with HIV stigma. Both people living with HIV or AIDS (PLHA) and their close family members (CFM) are stigmatized, but CFM also stigmatizes PLHA. This interaction affects the relationship between PLHA and their CFM. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a comprehensive community-based HIV stigma reduction intervention on PLHA and their CFM as well as to explore and describe their experiences during and after the intervention. A holistic multiple case study design as well as a qualitative description approach was used. The study was conducted in both an urban and a rural setting. Purposive sampling was used for the PLHA and snowball sampling for the CFM. The case record for the case study consisted of several sources. In-depth-interviews were used to explore their experiences. The data was analysed using open coding and text document analysis. Both groups gained a richer understanding of HIV stigma and coping with it. The relationships enriched by PLHA feeling more supported and CFM realizing how they stigmatized and that they should be more supportive. Leadership was activated through the project. Bringing PLHA and CFM together during an intervention, proved to be affective, Recommendations focus on the inclusion of HIV-related stigma reduction awareness interventions in the curriculum of student nurses and the implementation thereof in the community, through community based nursing. It would be of benefit if the programme could also be offered as a workshop to traditional healers in the community. Nurses in clinics working with PLHA should invite PLHA and CFM to participate in groups to support each other in reducing HIV-related stigma and share problem-solving coping strategies. The researcher believes that the results of the current study have important implications for further research in HIV-related stigma reduction interventions in other countries and demographic groups. It has the potential to be used for long-term monitoring studies of HIV stigma reduction interventions and the change over time.
- Health Sciences