HIV and Stigma in the Indian Health Care System: A Systematic Review
India ranks third in the world in terms of the number of HIV cases. As of October 2016, the government of India offered 528 anti-retroviral therapy (ART) centers and provided free medication, counselling, and ART adherence support to people living with HIV/ AIDS (PLWHA). However, stigma and HIV share a cyclical relationship, whereby people who experience stigma are marginalized and more vulnerable to HIV, and those with HIV are more vulnerable to stigma. This research study asks: What are the underlying mechanisms of stigma in the health care system in India? Do they pose a significant barrier to the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS? A review of the literature explores HIV stigma in workers in the health care system and its impact on treatment. Results show mistreatment by staff, discrimination in policies and procedures, and a lack of cultural sensitivity. The study concludes with recommendations to counter stigma and improve quality of care.
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