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Bowen, P, Govender, R, Edwards, P and Cattell, K (2016) Internalised Stigma, Discrimination, Depression, Social Support And Disclosure Experiences Of HIV+ Workers In The South African Construction Industry. In: Chan, P W and Neilson, C J (Eds.), Proceedings 32nd Annual ARCOM Conference, 5-7 September 2016, Manchester UK. Association of Researchers in Construction Management, 579–588.

  • Type: Conference Proceedings
  • Keywords: Construction workers, HIV/AIDS, internalised stigma, discrimination, South Africa.
  • ISBN/ISSN: 978-0-9955463-0-1
  • URL: http://www.arcom.ac.uk/-docs/proceedings/f1071fe847523bc2493995e7e6cecdf7.pdf
  • Abstract:

    HIV/AIDS-related stigmas relate to HIV prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. They can become internalised by HIV+ persons, leading them to: avoid treatment or care; engage in unsafe sex practices; feel emotional distress, isolation and self-loathing; and diminished social support. The discrimination experiences and internalised stigmas for 34 HIV+ construction workers in the Western Cape, South Africa are investigated using a self-administered questionnaire, and the response data subjected to descriptive statistical analysis. Of particular concern are many lifestyle-related risk factors, specifically the lack of condom use, numbers of sex partners, and failure to take anti-retroviral medication. The HIV+ workers are found to have lower AIDS-related knowledge than non-infected co-workers. Many workers experience internalised stigma: feeling dirty; ashamed; guilty; and at times worthless. These internalised stigmas are significantly associated with level of education. Greater effort is needed to eradicate or at least reduce AIDS-related stigmas, particularly in focusing on reducing fear of HIV/AIDS and recasting it as a chronic but manageable disease.