Erving Goffman, defined Stigma as “a dynamic process of devaluation that significantly discredits’ an individual in the eyes of others” (Sengupta, 2010, p. 1075). PLWHA are subject to stigmatization- that is, to the consequences of being designated as socially deviant (Sandelowski et al, 2009, p.274). In other words, stigma hinders individuals with HIV/AIDS; the stigma of HIV/AIDS is often associated with various groups such as African Americans, women, homosexuals, and intravenous drug users. In addition, people living with “HIV is stigmatized leading to severe social consequences related to their rights, health care services, freedom, self identity, and social interactions” (Mawar et al., 2004, p.472). Furthermore, “research has shown that HIV is viewed negatively than many other stigmatizing conditions such as mental illness and other physical health problems (Rao et al., 2006, p. 265).
HIV discrimination can range from; being ignored by family and friends, community, poor treatment in healthcare and education setting, workplace, and restrictions on travelling. Laws like the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and American with Disabilities Act of 1990 helps protect individuals with HIV against some of the discriminations they face. HIV related discrimination can refer to prejudice, negative attitudes, abuse, and maltreatment directed at people living with HIV. HIV discrimination exists worldwide and they occur alongside other forms of discriminations such as racism, homophobia, and drug users. Discriminating among HIV patients makes it difficult for people trying to come to terms with HIV and manage their illness on a personal level (avert, 2013), but also interferes with attempts to fight the HIV epidemic as a whole.
As the number of people infected with HIV increases, social workers are and will be increasingly called upon to deal with and serve PWAs. Although not all social workers chose to work with PLWAs, the escalating incidence of HIV infection is creating a situation in which seropositive people are and will be showing up more often in almost all areas of social work practice. This paper aims to examine AIDS related stigma and the stigmatization process, hopefully providing insights into countering the effects of stigma and perhaps the possibility of destigmatization. This is of particular pertinence to the field of social work due to our growing involvement with the HIV positive population. Association to Deviant/Marginal Behavior One of the most clearly and often identified causes of AIDS related stigma is its association to deviant behaviour.
This paper will be analyzing the concept of HIV patients dealing with stigma in their community, precisely in sub-Saharan Africa (Uganda). Stigma is a complex concept that is associated with “immoral people” or people who are termed as unworthy of quality treatment by others. However, when working with HIV/AIDS patients’ stigma and discrimination becomes the behaviour used in the community to isolate these group of people. Therefore, discrimination refers to the wrongful way an individual is treated due to their HIV status or their perceived status and stigma is when an individual is humiliated and/or treated as a cast away. Furthermore, Mbonye et.
HIV/AIDS appeared in the 1980’s and quickly spread throughout the world. There is a strong, visible link between HIV/AIDS risk and infection and low social and economic development (Parker, 2002). The HIV epidemic occurs in places of poverty, racism, gender inequality, and sexual oppression. The growing division between the extremely wealthy and the extremely poor is increasing the isolation of and disease presence among the poor populations (Parker, 2002). HIV/AIDS almost exclusively affects populations living with various forms of structural violence.
These social stigmas increase the fear and shame in people who may be dealing with mental illness and soon develop into self stigmas such as: “I’m crazy” and “I can’t be helped.” Behaviors such as these reinforce the negative stereotypes that bombard society. Gaining an understanding of why there is a stigma, how inaccurate stereotypes are debilitating to the function of those with mental illnesses, and how recognizing social and self-stigma surrounding mental illness will be the first steps to eradicate this problem. People with mental disorders or illnesses are far more likely to be victims than perpetrators of crimes. However in newspapers and during media coverage violent criminals are often labeled psychos, maniacs, or schizophrenics. Media, television, and music often dramatize and portray people with mental illnesses inaccurately (Polatis.)
One of the main reasons why people tend to be prejudice against gay, lesbian, and bisexual are based on inaccurate stereotypes and lack of information that is provided by society. Society portrays sexual minorities as sick, perverted, or nonexistent. There are quite a few people who are not aware that they may know healthy gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals. Many people, fearing they might be gay, lesbian, and bisexual, prefer to attack individual who are as a way of avoiding self-identification. People tend to link homosexuality and bisexuality with sexual behavior.
Well, stigma is defined as: “a mark of disgrace associated with certain circumstances.” stigma is most notable for people going through mental health issues, like anxiety, depression and ADHD, among other disorders. The stigma associated with mental health is affecting societies and communities in negative ways and should be actively combated by governments, NGO’s, and people. However, this issue is controversial, as many skeptics claim that mental disorders do not exist. However, they have been proven wrong. Stigma is a barrier for treatment and is harmful to society, as well as being a sign of a toxic community.
In addition to this, Erving Goffman defines stigma as a label that distinguishes a person, or group of people from others in discrediting way. In most of the cases, stigma actually refers to people who have obvious physical defects, illnesses, or disabilities, and it is affixed by others who notice those defects. Stigma is a devastating feeling at the individual level because it leads to feelings of shame, guilt, and isolation. Such negative attitudes is caused by omissions or actions of others which is causing even deeper suffering and enhance of the stigmatized group advocating the fact that they are denying certain services such as the right to healthcare or education. Such actions constitute discrimination and leads toward human rights abuses.
Introduction We live and are raised in a world where we are taught and influenced that traditional values are the normal and praised, and anyone that goes against them are considered wrong, sinful, or even immoral. Those that challenge the media and go against what society says is the normal are often targeted for bullying, discrimination, and even judged negatively. This is most prevalent for gays, lesbians and bisexuals that face criticism are degraded all because they prefer individuals of the same sex. Whether it is consciously or unconsciously our society has the tendency to have negative attitudes and prejudices against members of the LGBT community. There are many different ways LGBT members experience prejudice and unjust treatment.