The aim of this paper is to explore the nature and dynamics of HIV-related stigma in the KTC with a view to understand the impact of stigma on the lives of HIV+ people and their social environment. This paper draws on qualitative research methods, including focus groups, interviews and participant observation.
Research was conducted in KTC, a shack settlement in Cape Town, with a group of home-based carers, and their HIV-positive clients, in 2003 and 2004. The complex matrix of factors, like socio-economic and gender inequality, which perpetuate HIV-related stigma in the context of KTC, is explored through this paper.
This paper argues that social networks in KTC can play both a constructive and destructive role in facilitating care, and HIVrelated stigma respectively. Finally, the research and findings of this paper point to the need to shift away from the notion that stigma is experienced by the individual to a more multifaceted understanding of the impact of HIV-related stigma on the HIV+ individual’s social environment.