'We are the change' - An innovative community-based response to address self-stigma: A pilot study focusing on people living with HIV in Zimbabwe

Ferris France, N., Macdonald, S. H., Conroy, R. R., Chiroro, P., Ni Cheallaigh, D., Nyamucheta, M., Mapanda, B., Shumba, G., Mudede, D. and Byrne, E.

INTRODUCTION: Self-stigma-negative self-judgements resulting in shame, worthlessness and self-blame-may play a crucial role in emotional reactions and cause emotional distress among many people living with HIV and other chronic illnesses. Furthermore, self-stigma negatively impacts on self-agency, quality of life, adherence to treatment, and access to services. High levels of self-stigma have been reported across many countries, however few programmes or interventions exist to specifically tackle this phenomenon. This paper reports the findings of a pilot study carried out in Zimbabwe using a programme incorporating "Inquiry-Based Stress Reduction (IBSR): The Work of Byron Katie"-a guided form of self-inquiry which helps users to overcome negative thoughts and beliefs.

OBJECTIVES: The primary objective of this uncontrolled pilot study was to examine the potential role of the IBSR intervention in helping people living with HIV to overcome self-stigma and associated states.

METHODS: 23 people living with HIV (17 Female, 6 male, average age 41 years) were recruited from a local HIV support network, via open call for volunteers. All participants received the intervention, consisting of a 12-week facilitated programme using techniques derived from IBSR: The Work of Byron Katie. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected and analysed pre- and post-programme.

RESULTS: After taking part in the intervention, participants reported significant improvements in factors including self-stigma (1-month follow-up vs baseline Z = 2.1, p = 0.039; 3-month follow-up vs baseline Z = 3.0, p = 0.003, n = 23, Wilcoxon Matched Pairs Signed Rank Test) and depression (1mo vs baseline Z = 3.7, p = <0.001; 3mo vs baseline Z = 3.3, p = 0.001). Qualitatively, participants reported improvements including lessened fears around disclosure of their HIV status, reduced feelings of life limitations due to HIV, and greater positive mentality. Improvements persisted at three-month follow-up.

CONCLUSION: With further development and larger comparative studies to confirm effects, the IBSR programme could become a novel tool to enable people living with HIV to support themselves in overcoming self-stigma.

April 12, 2019
Year of publication
2019
Resource types
Journal and research articles
Countries
Tags
self-stigma, emotional wellbeing, disclosure

Similar Resources

The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) case study was undertaken by the National Population Unit (NPU) to assess the activities that are run by the organisation OUT. This study forms part of 10 such studies with regard to youth which was undertaken by the NPU.

The World Health Organization recommends early initiation of HIV antiretroviral therapy (ART) for all those infected with the virus at any CD4 count.

Female sex workers (FSW) in sub-Saharan Africa have a higher prevalence of HIV than other women of reproductive age. Social, legal, and structural barriers influence their access to care. Little is known about the HIV diagnosis and care cascade in most countries in southern Africa.

Self-stigma, also known as internalised stigma, is a global public health threat because it keeps people from accessing HIV and other health services. By hampering HIV testing, treatment and prevention, self-stigma can compromise the sustainability of health interventions and have serious…

These khutbah and sermon guides were developed to empower religious leaders with the tools and skills to reach their congregations with key messages on pediatric HIV transmission and prevention; stigma and discrimination; and treatment, care, and support; as well as male involvement in the HIV…

Zero Discrimination Day is a commemorated each year across the globe on 1 March. This year, UNAIDS highlighted the right of everyone to be free from discrimination.

This issue of the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society's "HIV Nursing Matters" online magazine focuses on vulnerable populations, including TB in prisons and intimate partner violence in the context of HIV.

This issue of the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society's "HIV Nursing Matters" online magazine focuses on key populations.

Gender-based power imbalances place women at significant risk for sexual violence, however, little research has examined this association among women living with HIV/AIDS.

A new study of the impact of cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) escape mutations suggests that holes in the host immune repertoire contribute to poor disease outcomes, owing to a gradual deterioration of the host anti-HIV-1 immune response.