HIV Stigma and Moral Judgement: Qualitative Exploration of the Experiences of HIV Stigma and Discrimination among Married Men Living with HIV in Yogyakarta

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Jan 19;17(2):636. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17020636.


It is well acknowledged that human immunodeficiency virus stigma (HIV stigma) challenges people living with HIV globally. There is a scarcity of information about determinants of HIV stigma and discrimination among married men in the Indonesian context. This study aimed to explore factors that contribute to stigma and discrimination against HIV-positive men married to women in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Face-to-face in-depth interviews were conducted to collect data from participants using a snowball sampling technique. A framework analysis was used to guide the analysis of the data. HIV stigma framework was also applied in the conceptualisation and the discussion of the findings. The findings indicate that participants experienced external stigma within healthcare facilities, communities and families. This external stigma was expressed in various discriminatory attitudes and behaviours by healthcare professionals and community and family members. Similarly, participants experienced anticipated stigma as a result of HIV stigma and discrimination experienced by other people living with HIV. Individual moral judgement associating HIV status with amoral behaviours and participants' negative self-judgement were determinants of perceived stigma. The current findings indicate the need for training programs about HIV stigma issues for healthcare professionals. There is also a need to disseminate HIV information and to improve HIV stigma knowledge among families and communities.

Keywords: HIV stigma and discrimination; HIV-positive men married to women; Indonesia; Yogyakarta; moral judgement.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • Health Personnel / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Indonesia
  • Judgment*
  • Male
  • Men
  • Middle Aged
  • Morals
  • Social Stigma*
  • Spouses