Sunday, March 4, 2012

Social Stigma of HIV/AIDS in Kenya

Here's a link to a youtube video that was filmed by representatives of Smart Global Health, who "traveled to Kenya and met with community-based health programs working in areas ranging from Maternal Health, HIV, AIDS, Malaria, TB, and Infant Mortality."

I find this video particularly relevant to our current GlobeMed agenda. Over the past two weeks, we've spent a lot of time discussing what we know about HIV/AIDS and how we want to expand our understanding of the disease. Something that we've all expressed interest in learning more about is how HIV/AIDS is viewed in Kenyan society and what kind of stigma it carries.

This video sheds some light on that question. Native community-health volunteers explain that HIV/AIDS is not something talked about lightly, or even at all. People are afraid to be publicly identified as victims of the disease, and will avoid health clinics so as not to draw attention to their condition.

Without open acknowledgment of infection, Kenyans affected by HIV/AIDS won't care for themselves properly and won't warn their sexual partners about transmission. At our next meeting, I hope that we can discuss ways to combat the social stigma that keeps HIV/AIDS victims silent.

Marissa Bych
Brown University Class of 2015

1 comment:

  1. I'm seriously not trying to self-promote, but we legitimately have a solid page of publications, data and toolkits pertaining to stigma against PLHIV in Kenya, if anyone might find it of use.