HIV stigma experiences and stigmatisation before and after a HIV stigmareduction community “hub” intervention
This study sought to explore, describe and determine whether an HIV stigma-reduction community “hub” intervention would change the HIV stigma experiences of people living with HIV (PLWH) and the stigmatisation by the community in an urban area in South Africa. A convergent parallel mixed-method design with a single case pre-test post-test design and an interpretive description approach was utilised. The sample for this study included 62 PLWH recruited through accessibility sampling and 570 community members recruited through random voluntary sampling. A sub-sample of both groups, selected using purposive voluntary sampling, was utilised for the in-depth interviews about stigma experiences of PLWH, and for perceptions and attitudes of the community toward PLWH. Both quantitative and qualitative data showed that stigma is present. Although no statistically significant changes were found, small practically significant changes were demonstrated in the experiences of PLWH and in the perceptions and attitudes of the community. The extent of changes was much more obvious in the responses of the PLWH and the community during their post-intervention qualitative interviews than the changes found with the quantitative measures. This study thus concludes that the HIV stigma-reduction community hub intervention was successful in initiating the onset of changes in a community through the PLWH and people living close to PLWH (PLC) as community mobilisers active in the community hub to mobilise their own communities towards HIV stigma reduction through social change.
Keywords: change, mixed method, South Africa, stigma experiences, stigma intervention