Format

Send to

Choose Destination
AIDS Care. 2015;27(1):6-9. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2014.940270. Epub 2014 Jul 23.

The "moral career" of perinatally HIV-infected children: revisiting Goffman's concept.

Author information

1
a Infectious Diseases Department , Hospital Federal dos Servidores do Estado , Rio de Janeiro , Brazil.

Abstract

HIV-infected children usually live in vulnerable situations, experiencing discrimination and stigma commonly felt by other people living with HIV/AIDS. The present study aims to analyse primary socialisation of HIV-infected children and adolescents recruited from a public health service in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) as a social process that shapes a new generation of stigmatised and vulnerable persons. Research was informed by an interactionist perspective, focusing on key aspects of HIV-infected children and adolescents life histories under the conceptual frame of Erving Goffman's theories regarding "moral careers". Goffman defines the making of a moral career as the process through which a person learns that she/he possesses a particular attribute, which may lead her/him to be discredited by members of the surrounding society. We have identified aspects of life histories of HIV-vertically infected children and adolescents for each aspect of "moral career" as described by Goffman, relating them to as family structure, the experience of living HIV within the family, and the position and family role of a given subject. The patterns of "moral career" proposed by Goffman in 1963 were useful in identifying components of HIV-related stigma among children and adolescents. These include gender and social disadvantages, difficulty in coping with a child with a potentially severe disease, orphanhood, abandonment, adoption and disclosure of one's HIV serostatus. Primary socialisation of HIV-infected children and adolescents is a key piece of the complex HIV/AIDS-labelling process that could be targeted by interventions aiming to decrease stigma and marginalisation. Health care workers and stakeholders should be committed to ensuring education and guaranteeing the legal rights of this specific population, including the continuous provision of quality health care, full access to school and support to full disclosure of HIV diagnosis.

KEYWORDS:

HIV vertical transmission; HIV-infected adolescents; HIV-infected children; primary socialisation; stigma

PMID:
25054808
DOI:
10.1080/09540121.2014.940270
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis
Loading ...
Support Center