Exploring HIV related stigma experienced by women enrolled in the prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) programme in Ethekwini, KwaZulu-Natal : a descriptive phenomenological study.
Luvuno, Zamasomi Prudence Busisiwe.
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The purpose of this Qualitative study was to explore HIV related stigma experienced by women enrolled in the Prevention of Mother to Child (PMTCT) prgramme in the EThekwini District, Kwazulu Natal. Descriptriptive phenomenology informed the study design, data collection and analysis. Despite increasing access to Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission initiatives, including anti-retroviral drugs, the Stigma of being HIV positive, particularly for women, largely outweigh the potential gains from available treatments. HIV/AIDS related stigma drives the epidemic underground and is one of the main reasons that people do not wish to know their HIV status Purposeful sampling was used to select seven women attending PMTCT programme in the EThekwini District. These women were selected in four clinics in the District. Data was collected through in-depth interviews lasting about 45 minutes to an hour. These interviews were tape recorded and later transcribed to aid analysis. The Colaizzi method of data analysis was utilized. Four themes emerge from the data, each with three to eight subthemes confirming the experiences and presence of stigma during programme participation. All participants reported incidence of being stigmatized, particularly in the Health care setting. They took great strides to keep their HIV status confidential to a point of going against programme directives to ensure secrecy of their status thus avoid HIV related stigma. Number of recommendations were made in relation to the PMTCT programme and if accepted will assist in mitigating stigma in HIV related stigma in the PMTCT progarmme and thus reduce vertical transmission.
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