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SAHARA J. 2013;10(3-4):119-30. doi: 10.1080/17290376.2014.885847. Epub 2014 Feb 17.

Consensus on context-specific strategies for reducing the stigma of human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome in Zambézia Province, Mozambique.

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  • 1a MSc, MPH, PhD, Clinical Assistant Professor, is affiliated to the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health , Vanderbilt University , Nashville , TN , USA.


Stigma has been implicated in poor outcomes of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) care. Reducing stigma is important for HIV prevention and long-term treatment success. Although stigma reduction interventions are conducted in Mozambique, little is known about the current nature of stigma and the efficacy and effectiveness of stigma reduction initiatives. We describe action research to generate consensus on critical characteristics of HIV stigma and anti-stigma interventions in Zambézia Province, Mozambique. Qualitative data gathering methods, including in-depth key-informant interviews, community interviews and consensus group sessions, were utilized. Delphi methods and the strategic options development analysis technique were used to synthesize qualitative data. Key findings are that stigma enacted by the general public might be declining in tandem with the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Mozambique, but there is likely excessive residual fear of HIV disease and community attitudes that sustain high levels of perceived stigma. HIV-positive women accessing maternal and child health services appear to shoulder a disproportionate burden of stigma. Unintentional biases among healthcare providers are currently the critical frontier of stigmatization, but there are few interventions designed to address them. Culturally sensitive psychotherapies are needed to address psychological distress associated with internalized stigma and these interventions should complement current supports for voluntary counseling and testing. While advantageous for defining stakeholder priorities for stigma reduction efforts, confirmatory quantitative studies of these consensus positions are needed before the launch of specific interventions.


HIV/AIDS; Mozambique; consensus; le VIH/SIDA; réduction de la stigmatisation; stigma reduction

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