3 years ago

“People try and label me as someone I'm not”: The social ecology of indigenous people living with HIV, stigma, and discrimination in Manitoba, Canada

Indigenous peoples (First Nations, Inuit, and Métis) are currently overrepresented in the HIV epidemic in Canada and are infected at a younger age than those who are not Indigenous. This article presents our findings on the stigma and discrimination (as well as related themes such as disclosure) experienced by Indigenous people who contracted HIV in their youth and live in urban and non-urban settings in Manitoba, Canada. The findings were derived from a qualitative study that sought to understand the experiences and needs of Indigenous people living with HIV (including AIDS). We situate such experiences within a social ecological framework towards developing a better structural understanding of the impacts of stigma and discrimination on the lives of Indigenous people who are HIV positive. Stigma and discrimination caused barriers for Indigenous people living with HIV through inhibiting their ease of access to supports including family, peers, community, and long- and short-term health services. Creative forms of outreach and education that are culturally appropriate and/or rooted in culture were considered to be possibly impactful ways of reducing stigma and discrimination at the community level. Learning from communities who are successfully managing stigma also showed promise for developing new programming.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S027795361730607X

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