Pretoria: Centre for the Study of AIDS, 2003. 37 p.
The focus of this report is on:the findings that informed the development of indicators for internal and external stigmathe findings that informed the development of guidelines to assist those who wish to develop interventions to reduce HIV/AIDS stigmathe qualitative exploration of stigma experiences and perceptions in focus groups.The collection of HIV/AIDS stigma experiences and perceptions involved a group of 182 participants who participated in 23 focus groups (conducted across all nine provinces of South Africa) and 11 in-depth interviews. The purpose of the fieldwork was to collect a wide range of experiences of HIV/AIDS stigma in order to develop indicators that would enable the measurement of the progress of stigma-mitigation projects. In addition, seven telephonic interviews were held with key HIV/AIDS experts as a means of quality control.The experiences of representatives from three sectors, namely faith-based organisations, government workplaces and PLHAs who had had experience of interacting with the media, were collected during focus-group discussions. These three sectors were specifically chosen as they were considered to represent institutions which people look to for leadership, and they are also institutions that have the power to shape people's perceptions and responses. To capture the complexity of HIV/AIDS stigma, a qualitative exploration of experiences of HIV/AIDS in these three sectors was conducted. A focus group approach was viewed as most appropriate as it allows participants to explore the perceptions and experiences of HIV/AIDS stigma through discussion.The Siyam'kela Project is a joint endeavour of the POLICY Project, the Centre for the Study of AIDS at the University of Pretoria, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Chief Directorate: HIV, AIDS and TB, National Department of Health. Siyam'kela is an African word meaning 'we are accepting', expressing a collective embracing. The word has been interpreted as 'together we stand' to symbolise unity in challenging HIV/AIDS-related stigma.
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