HIV, stigma and health: integration of theoretical concepts and the lived experiences of individuals
Aim. To explore individual concepts of health and the role of stigma in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and HIV disease. The balance of power and knowledge are examined from both macro and micro perspectives, including both concepts of health and health and illness behaviour.
Method. A literature review which supports the integration of theoretical concepts and research findings demonstrating the lived experiences of individuals.
Conclusion. Stigma is a social construct which has significant impact on the life experiences of individuals both infected with and affected by HIV. The stigma experienced is unique to each individual and changes dynamically throughout the course of the HIV illness trajectory. Each of the four identified phases poses unique stigmatic qualities.