HIV-related stigma continues to be a significant barrier to HIV testing, treatment, and care. Understanding the factors that underlie this stigma could help remove barriers to HIV/AIDS intervention. We identified these factors among nurses as well as community leaders in Lui, Southern Sudan. Participants included health workers at a local hospital, a women's group, local market traders, religious leaders, and teachers. We categorized the responses generated from group interaction forums as concerns, fears, and perceptions. We found that stigma persisted not only toward people with conspicuous signs of full-blown AIDS, but also toward community programs, like voluntary counseling and testing centers. Future interventions, including delabeling the counseling and testing centers and demonstrating the efficacy of highly active antiretroviral therapy, will be critical in reducing the stigma of HIV/AIDS in communities.
- focus groups