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Reprod Health. 2015 Jun 2;12:53. doi: 10.1186/s12978-015-0032-9.

Women living with HIV/AIDS (WLHA), battling stigma, discrimination and denial and the role of support groups as a coping strategy: a review of literature.

Author information

1
School of Health, Education and Community Studies, University of Northumbria, New Castle City, UK. vikas.paudel@mira.org.np.
2
MIRA, YB Bhawan, Kathmandu, PO Box 921, Nepal. vikas.paudel@mira.org.np.
3
Department of Community Health Sciences, Patan Academy of Health Sciences, Kathmandu, GPO Box 26500, Nepal. kedarbaral@pahs.edu.np.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:

Women living with HIV/AIDS, in particular, have been positioned as a latent source of infection, and have captivated culpability and blame leading to a highly stigmatised and discriminated life. Despite the situation, women and their particular concerns have largely been ignored in HIV/AIDS research literature. This review aims to examine and analyze the feelings, experiences and perceptions of Women living with HIV/AIDS (WLHA) and will also access the role of support group as a coping strategy on the basis of 7 primary researches conducted in or on different parts of the world.

METHODOLOGY:

A systematic literature search was carried out on major data bases ASSIA, CINAHL, Science Direct, Web of Knowledge, Wiley Inter Science, AMED, Pub Med/Bio Med Central, MEDLINE and Cochrane Library. The articles included for review purpose were gauged against the pre-defined inclusion/exclusion criteria and quality assessment checklist resulting in a final 7 papers.

FINDINGS/RESULTS:

The findings were compiled into five thematic areas: (1) Disclosure as a sensitive issue; (2) Stigma and Discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS and the multidimensional effects on women's health and wellbeing; (3) Internalised Stigma; (4) Women living with HIV/AIDS experiences of being rejected, shunned and treated differently by physicians, family and close friends; (5) Support Group as among the best available interventions for stigma and discrimination.

CONCLUSION:

Support groups should be offered as a fundamental part of HIV/AIDS services and should be advocated as an effective and useful intervention. Further research is needed to examine the effect of support groups for women living with HIV/AIDS. A community based randomised controlled trial with support group as an intervention and a control group could provide further evidence of the value of support groups.

PMID:
26032304
PMCID:
PMC4467680
DOI:
10.1186/s12978-015-0032-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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