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Sex Health. 2016 Nov;13(6):582-588. doi: 10.1071/SH16063.

HIV-related stigma and discrimination in the New Zealand healthcare setting: a mixed-methods study.

Author information

1
Community HIV Team, Infectious Diseases Department, Auckland City Hospital, Private Bag 92024, Auckland Mail Centre, Auckland 1142, New Zealand.
2
Infectious Diseases Department, Auckland City Hospital, Private Bag 92024, Auckland Mail Centre, Auckland 1142, New Zealand.

Abstract

Background People living with HIV (PLHIV) assume that healthcare workers have an adequate knowledge of HIV and expect that they will be treated with respect and compassion in the healthcare setting. Despite the remarkable advances in HIV treatment in the past two decades, PLHIV have continued to experience HIV-related stigma and discrimination by healthcare workers worldwide. The aim of this study was to explore the prevalence and nature of stigma and discrimination experienced by PLHIV in the healthcare setting in New Zealand.

METHODS:

This study involved a mixed-methods approach, using a questionnaire to collect quantitative and qualitative data from PLHIV recruited from the HIV Clinic at Auckland City Hospital and from two national HIV peer-support organisations between August 2012 and February 2013.

RESULTS:

Two hundred and thirteen PLHIV participated in the study. One hundred PLHIV (47%) reported that they had ever experienced HIV-related discrimination by a healthcare worker. The types of discrimination included confidentiality problems (19%), additional infection control measures (19%) and rudeness (18%). Healthcare settings where most of the discrimination had been experienced were other (non-infectious diseases) hospital wards, dental clinics, other (non-HIV) outpatient clinics and general practice clinics.

CONCLUSION:

Almost half of the PLHIV in New Zealand have experienced stigma and discrimination in a healthcare setting. The findings of this study show that there is a need to continue to normalise the care of HIV and increase HIV education for healthcare workers.

PMID:
27658018
DOI:
10.1071/SH16063
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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