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From the Physical Self to the Social Body: Expression and Effect of HIV-Related Stigma in South Africa

Published on 25 October 2006

This paper discusses some of the forms and consequences of HIV-related stigma in a community living in KTC, an informal settlement in South Africa, drawing on ethnographic research findings.

The first section presents a dynamic form of stigma sign language that is used to label the HIV positive ‘other’ in this community. The second section highlights some of the pernicious consequences of HIV-related stigma, including fear of disclosure and downward social mobility, and the way in which these prompt some HIV-positive people to avoid local clinics and treatment altogether, and drive others to mask or hide the fact that they are receiving medical treatment, such as antiretroviral drugs.

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Publication details

authors
Mills, E.
journal
Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, issue 16

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Region
South Africa

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