HIV–AIDS Stigma in Burundi: A Qualitative Descriptive Study
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HIV/AIDS stigma is a global issue and a serious problem in African countries. Although prevalence remains high in this region, no detailed study has yet been carried out to determine and characterize this problem in Burundi. Using a qualitative analysis based on an extensive series of 114 interviews, we describe the main characteristics of HIV stigma in the country. The results of our study indicate that the problem of HIV/AIDS stigma is widespread in Burundian society, as all participants in the research reported having experienced some kind of HIV stigma. The seven dimensions of stigma identified in people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in Burundi are physical violence, verbal violence, marginalization, discrimination, self-stigma, fear and insecurity, and healthcare provider stigma. These dimensions of stigma can be experienced through different manifestations, which have been characterized in this study, revealing that the problem of stigma in PLWHA is still an important issue in Burundi.