PECHENY Mario Martin
The Experience of Stigma: People Living with HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C in Argentina
MARIO MARTÍN PECHENY; HERNÁN MANZELLI; DANIEL JONES
REVISTA INTERAMERICANA DE PSICOLOGÃA
Interamerican Journal of Psychology
Lugar: Porto Alegre, Brasil; Año: 2007 vol. 41 p. 17 - 30
Abstract This article compares the experiences of people living with HIV/AIDS with those living with Hepatitis C in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In both cases, people learn to live with the illness, and get to know about symptoms, treatments, diagnoses, and future perspectives. In the end they become "experts" on the matter. At the same time, they are forced to deal with the "synergy of stigmas" associated with deadly diseases, and in most cases related to sexual behaviors and lifestyles historically stigmatized. Selected by availability we interviewed 27 people living either with HIV, Hepatitis C, or both; and 20 health care professionals. Through out this paper we trace similarities, differences, and articulations in terms of the management of the information on homosexual identity, being drug users, and living with HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C. We analyzed these issues as non-evident traits of discreditable individuals, which allow a relative concealment and their fears on revealing their secrets. Keywords: HIV; Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome; stigma; Hepatitis C; Argentina.: HIV; Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome; stigma; Hepatitis C; Argentina.