D R . E L R O I


Friday, December 19, 2008

Stigma & Discrimination 3

Like I have said there are two types or forms of stigma. The first one is the stigma which happens in the society called societal stigma.

We observe people being isolated, insulted, judged and blamed. People talk and conduct themselves in ways that make other people feel devalued, ashamed, worthless, and guilty or discriminated against. This often happens to people who are HIV positive or are battling with HIV related illness.

In some instances not only one person is stigmatized but a whole family can suffer because they are associated with the person who is stigmatized. We call this "stigma by association". Another example of this form of stigma is when a person is discriminated against because of their association with a specific group of people, e.g. the family the person belongs to, or clan, or even the church he belongs to. In the same way, a whole family can experience stigma when one member tests HIV positive. Children often experience stigma when their parents fall ill or die because of HIV.

People can also be stigmatized because of their appearance, what they look like or even their occupation. How often has it happened the people who were falling ill or were losing weight were stigmatized because people thought they might be HIV positive!

And then there is something called "self stigma" which I will talk about on my next post.

Source: "Channels of Hope" workshop manual.

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