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Understanding HIV-related stigma in older age in rural Malawi


  • Freeman, Emily


The combination of HIV- and age-related stigma exacerbates prevalence of HIV infection and late diagnosis and initiation of anti-retroviral therapy among older populations (Moore, 2012; Richards et al. 2013). Interventions to address these stigmas must be grounded in understanding of situated systems of beliefs about illness and older age. This study analyses constructions of HIV and older age that underpinned the stigmatisation of older adults with HIV in rural Balaka, Malawi. It draws on data from a series of in-depth interviews (N = 135) with adults aged 50–∼90 (N = 43) in 2008–2010. Around 40% (n = 18) of the sample had HIV.

Suggested Citation

  • Freeman, Emily, 2016. "Understanding HIV-related stigma in older age in rural Malawi," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 164(C), pages 35-43.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:164:y:2016:i:c:p:35-43
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2016.07.006

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Freeman, Emily & Coast, Ernestina, 2014. "Sex in older age in rural Malawi," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 47624, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2003.028563_6 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Crawford, Robert, 1994. "The boundaries of the self and the unhealthy other: Reflections on health, culture and AIDS," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 1347-1365, May.
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    1. repec:spr:eurpop:v:34:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s10680-017-9445-1 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    HIV; Older age; Stigma; Africa; Malawi; Power; Work;


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