Experiences with HIV/AIDS and the HIV/AIDS-related stigma among infected and affected children in India

Petney, Ariane

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India is one of the countries most affected by HIV/AIDS and, based on the rising prevalence rate, is likely to become its new epicenter. Today India is already thought to have the most AIDS-orphans worldwide, tendency rising. Not only the disease itself but also its social implications for the country and especially the infected and affected people are tremendous. Whole families suffer as a result of social suppression and isolation as well as due to the disease pathology, with children being especially vulnerable. Children infected, affected or even orphaned by HIV/AIDS experience a variety of social and emotional problems such as social isolation, denial of education, lack of love, care, affection, loss of self-esteem as well as trauma related to the reduction of living standards, neglect by the extended family and friends and to illness and death of parents and/or siblings. This thesis deals with the experiences of children and shows how they handle and perceive the situation, how they react to the social implications resulting from the disease, how infected children deal with their infection and how affected children react to the illness of their parents. Further, it discusses the help provided by three organizations that are addressing HIV/AIDS in India and the reactions of participants towards this help as well as individual coping strategies and opinions on what extra help or change would be needed to positively influence the situation. The findings out of one-on-one, open-ended and unstructured interviews with children, families and caregivers as well as of participant observation show a devastating picture of discrimination and emotional problems especially in smaller children. They also show the ability of some children to adapt to their situation and develop coping strategies. Within this context public awareness campaigns play a significant role in countering these problems.

Document type: Master thesis
Date: 2010
Version: Primary publication
Date Deposited: 27 April 2010
Faculties / Institutes: Universitäten / Institute > South Asia Institute / Department of Ethnology
DDC-classification: Medical sciences Medicine
Controlled Subjects: Indien, HIV-Infizierter, AIDS, Kind
Uncontrolled Keywords: India , HIV , AIDS , Child, Indien , HIV-Infektion , Stigma , Kinder
Subject (classification): Medicine
Countries/Regions: India
Series: Subjects > Health and Society in South Asia Series
Volume: 4