Men’s and Women’s Experiences With HIV and Stigma in Swaziland
AbstractTo explore how gender differentially affects the stigma experiences of people living with HIV (PLHIV) in Swaziland, the extent and dimensions of HIV-related felt and enacted stigma and social support were analyzed. Thirty-seven semistructured, face-to-face interviews were conducted with PLHIV in Swaziland between 2004 and 2006. Through the process of conceptual analysis, themes, including felt stigma, information management, enacted stigma, and social support, were explored, coded, and analyzed in the contexts of partner and familial relationships, and workplace and neighborhood settings. Findings revealed that there were high levels of felt stigma in all contexts, yet fewer than anticipated accounts of enacted stigma in family, work, and neighborhood contexts compared to their expressions of felt stigma. The amount and characteristics of felt and enacted stigma and social support differed based on gender, as women often experienced more felt and enacted stigma than men, and had less definite financial or emotional support.