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  • Publication
    HIV-positive patients' experiences of stigma during hospitalisation
    (Elsevier, 2001-11) ;
    The aim of the research to be presented in this article was to explore, within an Irish context, HIV positive patients' experiences of hospitalisation, and particularly their experiences of nursing care. This paper reports on one of the dominant themes to emerge in the study - the experience of stigma among persons living with HIV during their hospitalisation. A volunteer sample of 10 former in-patients of hospitals in the Republic of Ireland’s capital, Dublin, were interviewed in depth, and data were analysed using a qualitative content analysis. Findings indicate that while some participants experienced stigma from nurses, such stigma was stratified according to the means by which the disease had been contracted, with drug users expressing the greatest feelings of stigma from nurses. Data also suggest that the location of nursing care favoured by many participants was segregated care in specialist units, because it enabled them to avoid being discredited by other patients who did not have the virus, as well as potentially offering social support from like-situated others. Finally, patients experienced breaches in confidentiality because of institutional policies that made their disease conspicuous, and from some nurses' nonchalance in handling information about their disease. The analysis draws on Goffman's conceptualisations of stigma to explain the social process underlying participants' accounts.
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