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The social stigma of HIV–AIDS: society's role

Authors Kontomanolis EN, Michalopoulos S, Gkasdaris G, Fasoulakis Z

Received 11 December 2016

Accepted for publication 16 March 2017

Published 10 May 2017 Volume 2017:9 Pages 111—118

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/HIV.S129992

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Akshita Wason

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Bassel Sawaya


Emmanuel N Kontomanolis, Spyridon Michalopoulos, Grigorios Gkasdaris, Zacharias Fasoulakis

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Democritus University of Thrace, Alexandroupolis, Greece

Abstract: AIDS is a devastating and deadly disease that affects people worldwide and, like all infections, it comes without warning. Specifically, childbearing women with AIDS face constant psychological difficulties during their gestation period, even though the pregnancy itself may be normal and healthy. These women have to deal with the uncertainties and the stress that usually accompany a pregnancy, and they have to live with the reality of having a life-threatening disease; in addition to that, they also have to deal with discriminating and stigmatizing behaviors from their environment. It is well known that a balanced mental state is a major determining factor to having a normal pregnancy and constitutes the starting point for having a good quality of life. Even though the progress in both technology and medicine is rapid, infected pregnant women seem to be missing this basic requirement. Communities seem unprepared and uneducated to smoothly integrate these people in their societies, letting the ignorance marginalize and isolate these patients. For all the aforementioned reasons, it is imperative that society and medical professionals respond and provide all the necessary support and advice to HIV-positive child bearers, in an attempt to allay their fears and relieve their distress. The purpose of this paper is to summarize the difficulties patients with HIV infection have to deal with, in order to survive and merge into society, identify the main reasons for the low public awareness, discuss the current situation, and provide potential solutions to reducing the stigma among HIV patients.

Keywords: AIDS, stigma, pregnancy, HIV, infection, society, social discrimination

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