Stigmatizing and discrimination of men (MHIV) and their partners (PHIV) living with HIV/AIDS diagnosis in Merida Yucatan México
Issues: The MHIV are carrying double stigma: HIV/AIDS and homosexuality. Both conditions increase a broad spectrum of deleterious behavior against them from social isolation, emotional distress; hide diagnosis with a consequence of treatment delay resulting in undue advancement of the disease.
Description: In September 2007 a workshop took place in Merida Yucatan and 20 MHIV and 4 PHIV were interview before and alter workshop. Analysis, of participants´ experiences and the consequences of their disease for the household were explored with in-depth qualitative, semi structured interviews, underlying opportunities to overcome stigmatizing and discrimination for MHIV and PHIV. Previous to workshop very few participants were able to consciously accept virus infection in their bodies however they do considered laboratory test as definitive to confirm and accept disease. After workshop all participants identify an HIV person with their own revelation. They understood stigma definition however any of the participants use the word stigma to explain their own situation. They recognize discrimination as underestimation and violation of civil rights however any of them accepted they have had a similar situation and they mentioned as part of a different person life.
Lessons learned: To be able to say “I live with HIV” is the beginning of a second process where the ultimate goal is to provide conditions to plan better condition for a good life including sexual health. The possibility to inform family and friends regarding their sexual preference and health situation allow them to accept and understand their own chronic disease and to deal with it.
Next steps: It is necessary to get more accurate information regarding stigmatization and discrimination among MHIV and PHIV in specific societies to be able to design specific programs for prevention and integrate attention in this AIDS epidemic.
-Abstract available at link below-