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Interamerican Journal of Psychology

Print version ISSN 0034-9690


RUIZ-TORRES, Yamilette; CINTRON-BOU, Francheska N.  and  VARAS-DIAZ, Nelson. AIDS-related stigma and health professionals in Puerto Rico. Interam. j. psychol. [online]. 2007, vol.41, n.1, pp. 49-56. ISSN 0034-9690.

This study addresses an important issue in the AIDS epidemic in Puerto Rico: AIDS stigma among health professionals and health profession students. AIDS stigma has been documented among health services providers such as doctors, nurses, psychologists, and social workers. It has detrimental effects of the services provided and the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). The main objective of this study was to explore AIDS stigma manifestations among a sample composed of eighty health professionals and health profession students who participated in in-depth qualitative interviews. Four thematic categories stemmed from the data analysis process. These addressed the following subjects: social manifestations of stigma, stigma manifestations in the workplace, use of sensitive information to control PLWHA, and surveillance of PLWHA. Participants manifested instances of stigmatization they had witnessed in their work and training scenarios. Furthermore, they elaborated on the need to place effective surveillance mechanism on PLWHA in order to control the epidemic.

Keywords : Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome; Stigma; Health professionals; Puerto Rico.

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