Destigmatization of HIV

Progress or Regress?

Published in: International Journal of Self Help and Self Care, v. 3, no. 3-4, 2005, p. 213-260

by Ian D. Coulter, Carl A. Maida

Read More

Access further information on this document at www.baywood.com

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

The HIV epidemic has resulted in a renewed interest by social scientists in stigmatization and in a corresponding need to reconceptualize stigma, especially its relationship to power. While the professions have some power to control stigma, the emergence of self-help and mutual aid groups such as those founded by the gay activists involved in the AIDS epidemic, has shown that patients are not simply passive victims in the process of stigmatization. This new approach to stigma raises the questions: does destigmatization occur? What would constitute evidence of such a process? This article examines the change from seeing HIV as an epidemic and as a fatal disease to seeing it as a chronic illness-a possible example of destigmatization in action, noting the basic problems and promise of this process.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/research-integrity.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.