Original Research

Stigma and chronic illness: A comparative study of people living with HIV and/or AIDS and people living with hypertension in Limpopo Province, South Africa

Erhabor S. Idemudia, Matthew O. Olasupo, Mantwa W. Modibo
Curationis | Vol 41, No 1 | a1879 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v41i1.1879 | © 2018 Mantwa W. Modibo, Matthew O. Olasupo, Erhabor S. Idemudia | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 October 2017 | Published: 25 October 2018

About the author(s)

Erhabor S. Idemudia, Population and Health Research Entity, Faculty of Humanities, North-West University, South Africa
Matthew O. Olasupo, Population and Health Research Entity, Faculty of Humanities, North-West University, Nigeria
Mantwa W. Modibo, Population and Health Research Entity, Faculty of Humanities, North-West University, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Stigma among people with chronic illnesses exists, preventing many sufferers from presenting for treatment especially in South Africa.

Objectives: This study compared stigma experiences of people living with human immunodeficiency virus and/or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV and/or AIDS) (PLWHA) and people living with hypertension (PLWHPT) in Limpopo Province of South Africa.

Method: Using a cross-sectional design, 600 participants (300 PLWHA with mean age of 31 years, standard deviation of 8.2; and 300 PLWHPT with age of 55 years, standard deviation of 8.1) were purposefully sampled at HIV and/or AIDS and hypertension outpatient clinics. The perceived stigma of AIDS scale was used to assess stigma in the HIV and/or AIDS sample while the adapted version was used to assess stigma in PLWHPT. Data were analysed using independent t-test.

Results: Results indicated that PLWHA experienced significantly higher enacted stigma (t(598) = −11.79, p < 0.001) as compared to PLWHPT. However, PLWHPT experienced significantly higher internalised stigma (t(598) = 37.56, p < 0.001) and perceived stigma (t(598) = 41.71, p < 0.001) than PLWHA.

Conclusion: Stigma among people with chronic illnesses is existent. The stigma type is, however, dependent on the nature of the illness. Stigma reduction interventions among these populations are indicated.


Keywords

Chronic illnesses; Stigma; Hypertension; HIV/AIDS; South Africa

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