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Salud Pública de México

versión impresa ISSN 0036-3634


INFANTE, César et al. HIV/AIDS-related stigma and discrimination: the case of health care providers in México. Salud pública Méx [online]. 2006, vol.48, n.2, pp.141-150. ISSN 0036-3634.

OBJECTIVE: To analyze the social construction of stigma and discrimination processes associated with HIV/AIDS and people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA), based on the perceptions of health care providers in three states of the Mexican Republic. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Qualitative and quantitative description. Observation at nine institutions; in-depth interviews (14) and surveys (373) directed to providers of health services. RESULTS: Seventy-five percent of providers reported having received training related to HIV/AIDS; however, notions persist as to patients being hopeless; discrimination due to the idea of risk groups; the immediate identification of living with the virus, having the syndrome and death; and specific lack of knowledge of forms of transmission. Twenty-three percent would not buy food from a PLHA and 16% think they should be banned from public services. With respect to confidentiality: 89% believe it should be maintained and 38% think that employers and administrators have the right to know about their employees' condition. Isolation, notes in clinical histories pointing to HIV, obligatory testing and delays in surgeries for PLHA were constant practices. The perception that men who have sexual relations with men and sexual workers decide their sexual practices marks the division between innocent victims and guilty ones, which determines the stigmatization and discrimination processes in health services. CONCLUSIONS: The design of strategies to decrease stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS demands the inclusion of an ethical debate about human rights and a structural focus regarding social conditions that go beyond the notion of risk behaviors.

Palabras llave : HIV/AIDS; discrimination; stigmatization; health care providers; Mexico.

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