Community, family, and partner-related stigma experienced by pregnant and postpartum women with HIV in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Deborah Bain Brickley, Dang Le Dung Hanh, Luu Thi Nguyet, Jeffrey S Mandel, Le Truong Giang, Annette H Sohn
AIDS and Behavior 2009, 13 (6): 1197-204
Pregnant and postpartum women with HIV often face stigma and discrimination at home and in the community. In Vietnam, associations between HIV and the "social evils" of drug use and sex work contribute to stigmatization of people with HIV. We conducted a qualitative study to explore discrimination experienced by HIV-positive pregnant and postpartum women in Ho Chi Minh City at home and in the community. We conducted 20 in-depth interviews and two focus group discussions. Participants described managing disclosure of their HIV infection because of fear of stigma and discrimination, particularly to the wider community. In cases where their HIV status was disclosed, women experienced both discrimination and support. The findings highlight the need for targeted interventions to support pregnant and postpartum women with HIV, particularly during this period when they are connected to the healthcare system and more readily available for counseling.

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