Understanding and responding to HIV/AIDS stigma and disclosure: an international challenge for mental health nurses

Richard L Sowell, Kenneth D Phillips
Issues in Mental Health Nursing 2010, 31 (6): 394-402
Stigma and discrimination are challenges in the care and treatment of persons with HIV infection worldwide. Fear of negative social consequences often causes persons with HIV/AIDS to keep their infection secret, resulting in negative psychological and physical outcomes and continued spread of the disease. Mental health nurses have a unique opportunity to influence the trajectory of HIV/AIDS though counseling and interventions that address HIV/AIDS stigma with clients, communities, and society. This article provides an in-depth examination of HIV/AIDS stigma and its relationship to nondisclosure as well as strategies to deal with these issues at individual and group levels.

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