Women Stigma Essay

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Women in general are more affected by the stigma of having contracted any sexually transmitted disease due to the fact that women are looked down upon more often than men are if they are viewed as promiscuous by their society. The overall theme concerning HIV stigma related to gender, is that women face more mental health disparities compared to males. Women even find it harder to leave an abusive relationship if their partner knows of their HIV status. Women with HIV are more likely to end up in a physically or mentally abusive, intimate relationship (Logie 2011). Stigma is associated with mental illness and women with mental illness are especially more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors (Collins, Unger, and Armbrister 2008).…show more content…
The stigma associated with being contracted with a sexually transmitted disease can accelerate the rate of a preexisting mental disorder of an individual. This stigma affects both men and women infected with HIV, but more particularly, minority women (Collins, Unger, and Armbrister 2008). Studying the changes of an individual’s mental health after an HIV diagnosis is substantial in making those individuals’ overall well-being better off. When a person become depressed after his or her diagnosis, they increase their chances of morbidity (Gupta et. al 2010) (Lichtenstein, Laska, and Clair 2002). The gendered issue of promiscuity allows for women to feel more persecuted in terms of their HIV status. Women who have STDs such as HIV/AIDS are viewed as more promiscuous, while men who are infected usually were associated with homosexuality, but now that assumption has been dissipating. So now, minority women find it more stigmatizing to be associated with HIV/AIDS than men tend to be.
Women tend to find out their diagnosis at a later date than men do and African American women especially tend to not get any social support systems in relation to their diagnosis. The lack of social support only intensifies depression and anxiety and even more so for African American
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Women are more fearful of the repercussions of disclosing their status to their partner because a wide proportion of women infected with HIV tend to be in already abusive relationships (Comer et. al 200). Disclosure of an HIV status affects both men and women mentally, but women do face harder conflicts in their relationships to partners or spouses (Geary et. al 2014). These conflicts are experienced more for women because generally, they are blamed for having contracted this disease, while heterosexual men that face this conflict with their partner tend to be forgiven more by their female partner. This also creates internalized stigma, where individuals perceive themselves and their health in really low esteems and this is also more prevalent for women than it is for men (Geary et. al
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