'Dying twice': a multi-level model of the roots of AIDS stigma in two South African communities

J Health Psychol. 2007 May;12(3):403-16. doi: 10.1177/1359105307076229.


We highlight the complex interplay of psychological and social factors driving AIDS stigma, drawing on a study of community responses to HIV/AIDS in two communities in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. We draw on 120 semi-structured interviews and focus groups, in which open-ended topic guides were used to explore community responses to HIV/AIDS. Drivers of stigma included fear; the availability and relevance of AIDS-related information; the lack of social spaces to engage in dialogue about HIV/AIDS; the link between HIV/AIDS, sexual moralities and the control of women and young people; the lack of adequate HIV/AIDS management services; and the way in which poverty shaped people's reactions to HIV/AIDS. We discuss the implications of our findings for stigma-reduction programmes.

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome*
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Morals
  • Poverty
  • Prejudice*
  • South Africa