Ramifications of ostracism as a consequence of revelation of HIV positive status: its effect o individuals and families in Botswana
AbstractUsing primary data and a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods the study looks into ramifications of ostracism as a factor influencing people’s behavior towards the spread of HIV/AIDS, which have devastating effects on the structure and composition of the family in Botswana. The study showed that the highest proportion of respondents who would abandon an HIV positive partner (58.4%) occurs among young people aged 15 to 19 years; and that the propensity to abandon an HIV positive partner diminishes with advancement in age. In-depth inquiries on why HIV positive partners would be abandoned produced responses that revolved around fear of exposure, vulnerability and association with an HIV positive individual. The study showed that the highest proportion of respondents who would not reveal their HIV positive status occurs among those who have lost a relative or a friend to AIDS. Fear of being isolated, rejected, stigmatized and unwanted featured among the top reasons why respondents would not reveal their HIV positive status. Society’s reaction towards HIV positive individuals and families with HIV/AIDS patients appeared strong enough to drive individuals to hide their positive status and to go ahead and take the risk of onward transmission of the virus.
Copyright (c) 2019 Tabitha T. Langeni
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