Original Research

Stigma and discrimination within the Ethiopian health care settings: Views of inpatients living with human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immune deficiency syndrome

Befekadu S. Wodajo, Gloria Thupayagale-Tshweneagae, Oluwaseyi A. Akpor
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 9, No 1 | a1314 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v9i1.1314 | © 2017 Befekadu S. Wodajo, Gloria Thupayagale-Tshweneagae, Oluwaseyi A. Akpor | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 September 2016 | Published: 31 July 2017

About the author(s)

Befekadu S. Wodajo, Department of Health Studies, College of Human Sciences, University of South Africa, South Africa
Gloria Thupayagale-Tshweneagae, Department of Health Studies, College of Human Sciences, University of South Africa, South Africa
Oluwaseyi A. Akpor, Department of Health Studies, College of Human Sciences, University of South Africa, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Stigma and discrimination attached to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) have been recognised as a major obstacle to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support throughout the world. Stigma and discrimination are more devastating when they occur in health care settings where it is least expected.
Aim: To explore the factors attributable to stigma and discrimination of people living with HIV in two Ethiopian rural hospitals on what they thought of health care professionals (HCPs) attending to them.
Methods: A qualitative exploratory approach was used. Data collection was by means of audio-taped interview and Tesch’s content analysis approach was used. The sample size for this study was determined by saturation of data and consisted of 16 participants who were people living with HIV admitted as inpatients to the two selected hospitals in Amhara region of Ethiopia.
Results: Participants’ views were grouped into: fear of contact, delay of services, substandard services, denial of care, impoliteness of health care providers, breach of confidentiality and poor patient follow-up for persons infected with HIV.
Conclusion: The health care settings have been recognised as one of the contexts where HIV and AIDS-related stigmatisation and discrimination can occur. Hospital policies and institutional support should be tailored to embrace people living with HIV as the provision of institutional support is imperative in creating a good working environment and improving the commitment of HCPs so as to enable them to provide holistic care for people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA) without discrimination.

Keywords

Health care providers; health care setting; stigma; discrimination

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