HIV/AIDS stigma in Nigeria: Exploring the nexus of social processes and social policies


Background: Stigma is an outcome of an ‘identity’ which is rooted in the complex meanings of social reality. Culture as the underlying structure of social meanings, is largely invested in the epidemiological narrative of disease conditions. Hence, the cultural interpretations of HIV/AIDS’ causes and symptoms and outcomes, inform the structure of the social networks, social reference and social process of interactions with People Living with HIV/AIDS.

Method: The study reviews literature primarily originating from Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)- stigma, social stigma, stigmatization, Epidemiology of HIV/AIDS’, ‘social aspects of HIV/AIDS’, ‘social support for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA)’, ‘knowledge of prevention about HIV/AIDS’, ‘community support for PLWHA’, ‘Religion and HIV/AIDS’, ‘Prevalence of HIV/AIDS’, ‘Acceptance index of Antiretroviral therapy (ART)’, ‘family support for PLWHA’, ‘Ethnicity in HIV/AIDS Epidemiology’. A review of the selected databases – PubMed, AJOL, JSTOR, Google scholar and the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) Library was done.

Result: The epidemiological narrative of stigma in Nigeria, the nature of stigmatization as it subsists in Nigerian communities, and a compendium of government’s programmes and policies for stigma reduction – a response to social processes as ‘stimulus’ were identified in relation to policy outcomes.

Conclusion: Policies are although a response to stigmatizing social processes, both are synchronous and are potentially effective for building stronger social institutions for stigma reduction.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Stigma, Epidemiology, Social Processes, Nigeria.
Contexte : La stigmatisation est le résultat d’une ‘identité’ qui est enracinée dans les sens complexes de la réalité sociale. La culture, en tant que structure sous-jacente des sens sociales, est largement investie dans le récit épidémiologique des maladies. Par conséquent, les interprétations culturelles des causes, des symptômes et des résultats du VIH/SIDA informent la structure des réseaux sociaux, la référence sociale et le processus social des interactions avec les personnes vivant avec le VIH/SIDA.

Méthode: L’étude passe en revue la littérature, principalement issue des Titres de Sujets Médicaux (MeSH) - stigma, stigma sociale, stigmatisation, épidémiologie du VIH/SIDA’, ‘aspects sociaux du VIH/SIDA’, ‘ soutien social aux personnes vivant avec le VIH/SIDA (PVVIH)’, ‘ connaissance de la prévention du VIH/SIDA’, ‘soutien communautaire aux PVVIH’, ‘Religion et VIH/SIDA’, ‘Prévalence du VIH/SIDA’, ‘ Indice d’acceptation de la thérapie antirétrovirale (ART)’, ‘soutien familial aux PVVIH’, ‘Ethnicité dans l’ épidémiologie du VIH/SIDA’. Une revue des bases de données sélectionnées - PubMed, AJOL, JSTOR, Google Scolaire et la bibliothèque de l’Agence Nationale du Control du SIDA (NACA) a été effectué.

Résultat: Le récit épidémiologique du stigma au Nigéria, la nature de la stigmatisation telle qu’elle existe dans les communautés nigérianes et un recueil des programmes et des politiques
du gouvernement pour la réduction de la stigmatisation - une réponse aux processus sociaux comme ‘stimulus’ ont été identifiés en relation avec les résultats politiques.

Conclusion: Les politiques sont bien qu’une réponse aux processus sociaux stigmatisants, les deux sont synchrones et sont potentiellement efficaces pour construire des institutions sociales plus solides pour la réduction de la stigmatisation.

Mots clés : VIH/SIDA, stigma, épidémiologie, processus sociaux, Nigeria.

Correspondence: Dr. S.A. Lawal, Department of Sociology, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, Ogun State, Nigeria.



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