Understanding and Responding to HIV/AIDS Stigma and Disclosure: An International Challenge for Mental Health Nurses
Stigma and discrimination are challenges in the care and treatment of persons with HIV infection worldwide. Fear of negative social consequences often causes persons with HIV/AIDS to keep their infection secret, resulting in negative psychological and physical outcomes and continued spread of the disease. Mental health nurses have a unique opportunity to influence the trajectory of HIV/AIDS though counseling and interventions that address HIV/AIDS stigma with clients, communities, and society. This article provides an in-depth examination of HIV/AIDS stigma and its relationship to nondisclosure as well as strategies to deal with these issues at individual and group levels.