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Health Care Women Int. 2009 Apr;30(4):273-88. doi: 10.1080/07399330802694880.

Gender, race/ethnicity, and social class in research reports on stigma in HIV-positive women.

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School of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.


The layering of HIV-related stigma with stigmas associated with gender, race, and class poses a methodological challenge to those seeking to understand and, thereby, to minimize its negative effects. In this meta-study of 32 reports of studies of stigma conducted with HIV-positive women, we found that gender was hardly addressed despite the all-female composition of samples. Neither sexual orientation nor social class received much notice. Race was the dominant category addressed, most notably in reports featuring women in only one race/ethnic group. The relative absence of attention to these categories as cultural performances suggests the recurring assumption that sample inclusiveness automatically implies the inclusion of gender, race, and class, which is itself a cultural performance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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