182797 Health Service Delivery Protocols and the Stigmatization of People Living with HIV/AIDS in South Africa

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Titilayo A. Okoror , Department of Health and Kinesiology & African American Studies Research Center, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
Rhonda Belue, PhD , Health Policy and Administration, Penn State University, University Park, PA
Nompumelelo Zungu , Human Sciences Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa
Mohamed Adam, MA , Department of Psychology, University of Western Cape, Bellville, Cape Town, South Africa
Collins O. Airhihenbuwa, PhD, MPH , Penn State University, University Park, PA
Research has shown that HIV/AIDS stigma has an impact on HIV/AIDS care and support. Though few studies have examined the healthcare centers delivery of services to people living with HIV/AIDS, no study have examined the effect of specific health service delivery protocols that result in the stigmatization of people living with HIV/AIDS. We conducted 50 focus group and 59 key informant interviews among 481 men and women in Khayelitsha, Gugulethu, and Mitchell's Plain to examine the meanings and the contexts of HIV and AIDS-related stigma in South Africa. The sample consisted of men and women living with HIV/AIDS as well as family members, caregivers and community members. This presentation is a part of a five year research project to strengthened research capacity of South African Black students and faculty at the University of the Western Cape and the University of Limpopo in conducting HIV and AIDS related stigma research. Findings indicated that people living with HIV/AIDS perceived discrimination from hospital and clinic protocols even when these protocols may have been designed to make services more efficient. Some participants discussed the use of specific color folders for people who tested positive for HIV. Knowledge of such a color by other patients in the waiting room discloses the status of the person who tested positive. Participants also discussed the use of special room reserved for PLWHAs in the hospital. Such room with coded name like ‘room five' quickly becomes a stigmatized space and further isolates PLWHA as a group. Addressing these service delivery policies and protocols can reduce and eliminate HIV/AIDS related stigma in health care settings.

Learning Objectives:
Articulate how health service delivery protocols can become stigmatizing tools of people living with HIV/AIDS Discuss the implication of such stigma on the use of health service centers

Keywords: International Health, HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the lead data analyst on the study on which the abstract being presented is based on.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.