Navigation Links
New study highlights stigma and stress of living with HIV/AIDS in Serbia
Date:11/26/2007

Many people with HIV/AIDS in Serbia and Montenegro experience stigma, loneliness and ostracism, and can find it difficult to secure work and support themselves, according to new research findings.

They also struggle to secure regular, continuous access to HIV/AIDS drug treatments even though, in theory, there is 100% access to state-funded delivery, and are suffering stress and anxiety as a result.

Sarah Bernays, of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)s Centre for Drugs and Health Behaviour, will be presenting initial findings from the three-year study at an international health briefing on HIV/AIDS 2008, which is being held at Tanaka Business School, Imperial College today.

The study has relevance regionally and globally because, as the world aims to scale up to universal access, it is likely that already overstretched health care systems will run into difficulties with supply security, leaving patients temporarily without appropriate treatment. There are reports that people living with HIV (PLHIV) have experienced interrupted treatment due to supply problems within the region, for example Russia and Turkey, and also in countries where the prevalence rates are much higher, for example Uganda and Burundi.

The LSHTM team carried out qualitative research between 2005 and 2007. A baseline study, conducted between 2005-6, and funded by the UK Department for International Development, involved in-depth interviews with 40 PLHIV in Serbia and Montenegro, and 18 service providers. A prospective study, which took place between 2006 and 2007 and which was funded by the European Social Research Council, followed up 20 PLHIV. East participant was interviewed a further three times, and written and/or audio diaries were collected.

The respondents reported high levels of stigma attached to HIV/AIDS, and perceived access to HIV treatment to be insecure. They felt that there were problems with the delivery of drugs, and that both drugs and monitoring tests were in short supply. They reported feeling anxious at these perceived failings. Serbia and Montenegro is a transitional state, and the underlying context of uncertainty - politically, economically and due to possible future conflict - is seen as a threat to accessing HIV treatment.

One respondent commented: 'It's very depressing you know to go there and to wait so many hours and every time is the same fear, will there be some medicines or not. I'm living with this fear'. Another spoke of being ostracised and abused by neighbours. One interviewee reported how his family had also suffered since his diagnosis; his fathers house, which had previously always been full of visitors, was now always empty, as people were afraid to visit.

Sarah Bernays comments: People living with HIV/AIDS in Serbia and Montenegro perceive that access to continuous, appropriate treatment is insecure and that this, coupled with high levels of stigma, is having a negative impact on their quality of life. People are using up all their energy, both physical and mental, in trying to access treatment, which means they dont have the time or the inclination to participate in HIV support services or engage in community mobilisation. In these circumstances, it is questionable whether HIV/AIDS can be described as a manageable chronic illness.

The authors describe how there have actually been significant improvements, in the continuity of supply, particularly in Serbia, during the course of the study, but that the perception persists amongst PHLIV that access is insecure which means that trust has been damaged and people remain afraid.

The authors are calling for more robust contingency strategies to be put in place, so that countries can be better prepared in the event of treatment shortages. They suggest that regional procurement coalitions, which are South Eastern Europe context-specific, could be set up, and that NGOs working in the field of HIV/AIDS engage with treatment support, in order to work to build greater trust and understanding on HIV within communities, and try to make it easier for PLHIV to mobilise themselves more effectively. Finally, they recommend that efforts are made to identify forums in which the voices of PLHIV can be heard and listened to, such as websites and treatment support groups.


'/>"/>

Contact: Gemma Howe
gemma.howe@lshtm.ac.uk
020-792-72802
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Penn study finds pro-death proteins required to regulate healthy immune function
2. New study shows promise in reducing surgical risks associated with surgical bleeding
3. Study, meta-analysis examine factors associated with death from heatstroke
4. Study suggests loss of 2 types of neurons -- not just 1 -- triggers Parkinsons symptoms
5. Study says COPD testing is not measuring up
6. Preclinical study suggests organ-transplant drug may aid in lupus fight
7. Ability to cope with stress can increase good cholesterol in older white men, study finds
8. High alcohol consumption increases stroke risk, Tulane study says
9. Mailman School of Public Health study examines link between racial discrimination and substance use
10. Pitt study finds inequality in tobacco advertising
11. Stanford study highlights cost-effective method of lowering heart disease risks
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... An April 24th article on Yahoo! Beauty discusses ... with the help of a weight loss surgery. The woman, declaring “I will not hate ... been left following her dramatic weight loss. Dr. Feiz & Associates notes that, while it ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 28, 2017 , ... ... its new partnership with the Home Care Association of America (HCAOA). This agreement ... Private Duty Accreditation services, as well as discounts on Accreditation University (AU) educational ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 28, 2017 , ... ... to announce the integration of Microsoft(R) Word(TM) Online(TM), which enables sleep physicians to ... since it streamlines the reporting process and provides a familiar interface that does ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... ... Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (BCBSNJ) announced today that ... as “stable.” At the same time, the ratings agency cautioned that the company’s rating ... “capital adequacy” thresholds required for its strong rating. , “Horizon is committed to being ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... GlycoMark, Inc. announced today ... throughout the Northeast U.S. , GlycoMark is the only clinically available blood ... provides a clinically proven one- to two-week measure of hyperglycemic excursions, often related ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/20/2017)... April 20, 2017  Cogentix Medical, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... providing the Urology, Uro/Gyn and Gynecology markets with ... Keswani has joined the Company as Senior Vice ... created position, Mr. Keswani will report directly to ... "Our organization is delighted that Ash has ...
(Date:4/20/2017)...  RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NASDAQ: RXII), a clinical-stage ... unmet medical needs, today announced that it will ... development program, based on its proprietary self-delivering RNAi ... (SID) 76 th Annual Meeting.  The SID ... relevant to skin health and disease through education, ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... April 20, 2017  AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV), a ... (n=145/146) of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infected ... 6 and compensated cirrhosis (Child-Pugh A) achieved sustained ... ) with its investigational, pan-genotypic regimen of glecaprevir/pibrentasvir ... seen following 12 weeks of G/P treatment without ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: