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Keywords:

  • people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA);
  • stigma/fear;
  • Tshwane;
  • culture;
  • quality of life;
  • development

Abstract

At the onset of AIDS in 1981, it caught everybody (by surprise), with their pants down, openly, scientifically and literally. Fear /Stigma associated with HIV/AIDS continues to avert responses to the epidemic. Data (obtained in Tshwane metropolis) were used to test stigma/fear dimensions of an instrument. Factor analysis identified five foci of fear and stigma. There were significant differences on the factor scale measuring fear of sex, with females and younger respondents having significantly greater fear. Results were interpreted within a cultural context that realises that decreasing AIDS stigma is a vital step in stemming the pandemic. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.