HIV/AIDS-related stigma in South African alcohol-serving venues and its potential impact on HIV disclosure, testing and treatment-seeking behaviours.
Alcohol-serving venues in South Africa are sites for high-risk behaviours that may lead to HIV transmission. Prevention and treatment interventions are sorely needed in these settings, but HIV-related stigma may limit their effectiveness. This study explored expressions of stigma among alcohol-serving venue patrons in Cape Town and examined the potential impact of stigma on HIV disclosure, testing and treatment-seeking behaviours. A total of 92 in-depth interviews with male and female, black and coloured patrons were conducted. Transcripts were analysed via memo-writing and diagramming techniques. Many participants mentioned knowing other patrons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH), and this visibility of HIV impacted expressions of HIV-related stigma. Participants discussed four forms of HIV-related stigma in the venues: fearing PLWH, fearing HIV acquisition, blaming others for spreading HIV and isolating PLWH. HIV visibility and expressions of HIV-related stigma, particularly fear of isolation, influenced participants' willingness to disclose their status. HIV-related stigma in the venues also appeared to indirectly influence testing and treatment-seeking behaviour outside the venue. Results suggest that efforts to change norms and reduce expressions of HIV-related stigma in alcohol-serving venues are necessary to successfully deliver tailored HIV prevention interventions and increase uptake of HIV testing and care in this important social setting.
Velloza, J; Watt, MH; Choi, KW; Abler, L; Kalichman, SC; Skinner, D; Pieterse, D; Sikkema, KJ
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