Author(s): Judgeo N, Moalusi KP
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Abstract This study uses Goffman's [1963. Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity, New Jersey, Prentice-Hall] theory of stigma as an intellectual scaffold to help understand the social meaning of HIV/AIDS stigma from People Living with HIV/AIDS. The study adopts a qualitative approach because of its appropriateness for unravelling subjective phenomena such as the experiences of HIV/AIDS stigma. In-depth interviews were conducted with 10 HIV-positive employees of a retailing company located in the Western Cape province of South Africa who volunteered to participate in the study. The participants with the discreditable stigma internalised society's prejudice towards those living with the virus. As a result, the participants relied on self-isolation and social withdrawal to cope with enacted stigma. Managing information about one's status and deciding whether, who, when, etc., to tell are crucial questions. The participants feared being devalued by family, friends, co-workers and the community. In concurrence with Goffman , the HIV/AIDS stigma is seen as about relationships.
This article was published in SAHARA J
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals