Repository for several PhD. theses

Author: Sarah Stutterheim

Title: Understanding HIV-Related Stigma: Social and Psychological Processes

Details: As we enter the fourth decade of the HIV epidemic, focus is increasingly being placed on the social context of HIV. More and more attention is being paid to what it means to live with HIV and to the impact of an HIV infection for people living with HIV (PLWH), their families, and their communities. An important issue in this context, and one that contributes significantly to the hidden burden of HIV, is stigma . This dissertation reports on the social and psychological processes involved in the production and experience of HIV-related stigma. It explores public and self stigma and follows recent trends in stigma research by focusing predominantly, but not exclusively, on the perspective of PLWH. The first part of this dissertation describes the results of comprehensive qualitative research conducted with African, Dutch Antillean, and Surinamese diaspora in the Netherlands. This section focuses on both the perceiver and the target of stigma by following the process of stigmatization from the perceiver’s beliefs regarding HIV and PLWH to the subsequent manifestations of stigma, the consequences for the target, and how PLWH cope with stigma and determine whether or not to disclose to others. The second part of this dissertation explores some of the consequences of HIV-related stigma in more detail and expands the study population and sample to include all PLWH living in the Netherlands. The findings reported in this section are, in contrast to the first part of this dissertation, quantitative in nature.

Defense: Friday, 11 February, 2011 12:00