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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition
Title Prevalence of, and factors associated with, HIV/AIDS-related stigma and discriminatory attitudes in Botswana
Volume 21
Issue 4
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2003
Page numbers 347-357
URL https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15038590
Botswana has the highest prevalence of HIV in the world. The epidemic of HIV/AIDS is often
accompanied by stigma and discrimination that create the circumstances for spreading HIV. To facilitate
the design of effective programmes to fight the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS-related stigma and
discriminatory attitudes, this study examined survey data on the prevalence of, and factors associated
with, such attitudes in Botswana. While most respondents showed discriminatory attitudes towards
a teacher or a shopkeeper with HIV/AIDS, only 11% of 4,147 respondents reported unwillingness to
care for a family member with HIV/AIDS. The more tolerant attitudes towards a family member with
HIV/AIDS appeared to be promoted by the fact that family members have been and continue to care
for their sick members through a government project called Community Home-based Care aimed at
relieving public hospitals of HIV/AIDS patients. Since the burden of caring for sick relatives rests on
the shoulders of women, they portrayed more tolerant attitudes towards HIV/AIDS patients. Young
people and those who believed a person could get HIV infection by sharing a meal with an HIV/AIDS
patient had discriminatory attitudes towards people with HIV/AIDS. The national information, education
and communication programme needs to be strengthened to reach more people for HIV/AIDS education.
Finally, programmes that aim to promote more tolerant attitudes towards people with HIV/AIDS may
be more effective if the human rights of those with HIV/AIDS are promoted and respected.

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