HIV/AIDS stigma at the workplace: Exploratory findings from Pakistan
AbstractPeople living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA) are stigmatised socially. They are devalued and considered like outcasts by having lesser opportunities for education, treatment and housing, and in an organisational context they get reduced opportunities of selection, promotion and income. The phenomena have been extensively researched in developed countries but limited literature addresses the situation in underdeveloped countries like Pakistan, which is also facing spread of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. There are a number of groups who are carrying the disease but the problems being faced by PLHA employed in different organisations have rarely been analysed. Stigma at the workplace can generate a number of negative outcomes. The present study considers two such outcomes among stigmatised PLHA. These outcomes are organisational cynicism and breach of psychological contract. A questionnaire was used to collect data from
a sample of 174 PLHA, having a work experience after identification of the epidemic, working in different organisations across Pakistan. These PLHA were identified and recruited through a scattered record available with some government/non-government organisations operating in Pakistan to control HIV/AIDS. Findings of the study extend the knowledge about HIV/AIDS stigma indicating that PLHA are subjected to stigma, which is significantly associated with a breach of psychological contract and organisational cynicism. There is a need at governmental and organisational level as well to increase awareness about the disease and formulate policies to reduce stigma against PLHA working in different organisations.