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People Living With HIV In Egypt Feel Health Care Sector Is Source Of Stigma, Report Says

According to a 2011 report (.pdf) on HIV-related stigma in Egypt from the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, “the health care sector was consistently identified by people living with HIV as a major source of stigma and discrimination,” PlusNews reports. “A study quoted in the report found that denial of care, breach of confidentiality, non-consensual testing, poor quality of care, gossip and blame were all frequent features of Egypt’s health care setting” and “[m]any of the 11,000 Egyptians living with HIV would rather suffer minor health problems than attempt to obtain health care,” the news service writes.

“The stigma report found that physicians and nurses were often reluctant to provide people living with HIV health services due to their lack of knowledge about infection prevention; doubts as to the effectiveness of prevention measures; moral stigma against ‘illegitimate sex’; fears of being stigmatized by the community; misconceptions about care and treatment of people living with HIV/AIDS; and the generally negative connotations associated with HIV/AIDS,” PlusNews writes. “The authors recommended, among other things, improved infection control programs and training on medical ethics with the aim of establishing effective anti-stigma policies, as well as education for health workers on health services for HIV-positive patients,” the news service notes (8/31).

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