Author(s): Lekas HM, Siegel K, Leider J
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Abstract The realization that many persons with HIV/AIDS are subjected to multiple layers of stigmatization because they belong to socially deviant and disenfranchised groups (e.g., injection drug users, racial/ethnic and sexual minorities) accounts for an increasing interest in the phenomenon of stigma layering. The stigma associated with hepatitis C virus (HCV) has also been conceptualized as layered. However, researchers have overlooked the fact that HCV adds a layer to the HIV stigma and vice versa. Qualitative interviews with 132 HIV/HCV-coinfected patients were analyzed to explore how they experience the two layers of stigma. Most participants hierarchically ordered the stigmas associated with each disease and regarded HIV as the more stigmatizing of the two. A small number perceived HIV and HCV as equally stigmatizing. The impact of the hierarchical and nonhierarchical ordering of the two stigmas on coinfected patients' felt and enacted stigmatization is explored and implications for interventions are discussed.
This article was published in Qual Health Res
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy