Journal of Student Nursing Research


Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a disease that is associated with risky sexual behaviors, injection drug use, and poverty. Due to this correlation to behaviors that are generally judged and criticized, a negative level of stigma in society may result due to personal beliefs and values, as well as misconception and lack of knowledge. The three types of stigma are perceived, experienced, and internalized. Each of these types elicits negative psychosocial and behavioral effects on the targeted individuals. Although children and adolescents who contract HIV parinatally from their mothers did not obtain HIV from the risky behaviors that commonly cause the stigma, it still may have harmful consequences on these young persons. Disclosure of HIV status to children and adolescent is important in order to maintain treatment adherence and enhance understanding of their disease, however the potential stigma surrounding HIV can complicate the disclosure process and the subsequent diseease management period.