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HIV/AIDS stigma: The latest dirty secret

Jo Stein


rejection of HIV/AIDS stigma is based on the understanding that all acts of
social exclusion relating to HIV/AIDS are not only morally wrong but also
counterproductive to effective HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. There is some
survey evidence suggesting that HIV/AIDS stigma has already diminished
substantially over time both in South Africa and worldwide. However, it is
arguable that these surveys are failing to measure the changing face of stigma
effectively. This paper describes some of the conceptual and methodological
challenges that quantitative research measuring stigma needs to address.
Foremost amongst these is the fact that HIV/AIDS stigma stems from multiple
sources which cannot be conflated if stigma is to be properly identified,
measured and most importantly, addressed.

discrimination, prevention, inequality

African Journal of AIDS Research 2003, 2(2): 95–101

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eISSN: 1608-5906
print ISSN: 1727-9445