An exploratory descriptive study on the perceived levels of stigma and disclosure patterns among women living with HIV and AIDS in a selected hospital in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Mdluli, Lucia Bonisiwe Sinegugu.
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Aim: The aim of this study is to explore and describe the perceived levels of HIV related stigma and disclosure patterns among women living with HIV and AIDS. Objectives: The objectives of the study are to explore and describe the perceived levels of stigma and disclosure patterns among women, the inter-relationship between demographic variables and perceived levels of stigma, the inter-relationship between demographic and disclosure patterns and the inter-relationship between perceived patterns of disclosure and perceived stigma levels. Method: A quantitative explorative ,descriptive study design was used for the study. Purposive Sampling was used by the researcher to select a sample of women who were attending a clinic within a selected hospital in KwaZulu-Natal. A self-reported questionnaire was administered to a sample of 90 women, all of which were completed andreturned.The data obtained from the questionnaire was analysed using SPSSversionfrom SPSS Survival Manual Fourth edition, 2011. Descriptive and non-parametric testing was used to show levels of perceived stigma, disclosure patterns and inter-relationships between demographic variables and perceived HIV related stigma and disclosure patterns. Results: The results showed that the majority of the participants had perceived low stigma levels and the majority disclose their status. Item one (1) where 12% have not disclosed their status to family. Item six (6), 43.3% feel that they do not have to keep their status a secret. Item eight (8), 33.3% agreed that they never felt ashamed of HIV and item nine (9), 42.2% disagreed that people with HIV are treated as out casts. There was a weak correlation between the age of the participants and stigma, and there was a positive weak relationship (r=0.086) between age and disclosure. There was a positive weak correlation between disclosure and stigma (r=0.18+p=0.1). Key words: HIV related stigma, HIV related disclosure, women living with HIV.