A descriptive study of self-perceived attitudes regarding HIV/AIDS in Cambodia
Sammanfattning: Bodling, S. & Larsson, S. (2010). A descriptive study of how people with HIV/AIDS in Cambodia experience attitudes regarding the disease from people around them. Essay for bachelor degree in Public Health 15 hp, Department of Occupational and Public Health, University of Gävle. Cambodia is the most HIV-afflicted country in Southeast Asia. The level of knowledge about the virus among the people is low and because of the poor conditions few people have access to testing and treatment. The HIV/AIDS epidemic has been followed by a stigmatization against people living with the disease and negative attitudes are common. The aim of this study was to identify self-perceived attitudes experienced by people living with HIV/AIDS in Lvea Em, Cambodia. In this study, a qualitative interview method was used. Ten interviews were conducted with ten Cambodian men and women, aged 25-48 years. They lived in different villages in the district of Lvea Em, outside Phnom Penh. The contact-organization Asian Outreach Cambodia (AOC) provided us with the informants. Most interviews were conducted in the informant’s own homes. One of the staff from the AOC also worked as an interpreter during the interviews. Since HIV/AIDS can be a sensitive topic, particular consideration was given to ethical considerations. To evaluate the results from the study a content analysis was used. The results showed that there are several negative attitudes connected to people living with HIV/AIDS. The main reason for negative attitudes seems to be fear of contagion. The result also showed some positive attitudes that derive from having HIV, like the discovery of love and care from family members and strengthening of the relationship to them. The results indicate that it is important to target the main underlying causes for stigmatization against people living with HIV/AIDS, but also that it is necessary to focus on the positive attitudes that do exist towards them. We wish that this study may contribute a little in the future work to eliminate the stigma and negative attitudes and also in the work to bring forward and increase the positive attitudes.
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