What is stigma? Causes, manifestations and consequences

Currently, the propaganda and prevention of discrimination taking place in the community have also been enhanced. However, in the community, there are still many people who hold the attitude of indifference, contempt, alienation, discrimination towards cases of people infected with HIV, COVID-19, people with disabilities or facing certain problems. mental health issues.

Community stigma can be a sharp knife that kills an individual.

What is stigma?

Discrimination is understood as an attitude or behavior that is baseless or disrespectful towards an individual or a group of people. Stigma can lead to behaviors, actions or prejudices that hurt others. On the other hand, in some specific cases, it is also seen as a contempt, denial, alienation and possibly a form of punishment.

For a given culture or context, certain characteristics would be seen as deviant, out of line with the general norm, and that would be seen as shameful, deserving of contempt and contempt. belgium. Periods will lead to discrimination if it is demonstrated by specific actions and these can be acts that eliminate, separate or limit the individual being discriminated against. Thus, it can be seen that the period is a process that is carried out continuously and it can manifest in many different forms, from evaluation viewpoints and attitudes to both actions and behaviors. judge.

Accordingly, experts recognize that there are two types of potentially harmful stigma that need attention and support. That is:

  • Social stigma: That is, prejudiced attitude, discriminatory behavior, alienation towards an individual or a certain group of people.
  • Self-stigmatization: I agree with the surrounding stereotypes and apply false, negative beliefs to myself.

In fact, there are many subjects who can become victims of erotic behavior. For example, people with HIV/AIDS, racial discrimination, people with disabilities, discrimination against people with mental illness, people infected with COVID-19, etc. Although there has been much progress in the prevention of stigma in the community, but until now, stigma still exists in many countries and regions and causes many impacts, leaving many unpredictable consequences.

Causes of stigma and discrimination

As shared above, stigma can occur in many different subjects. This behavior can result from a number of reasons such as:

  • Because people’s awareness and understanding are still limited.
  • For cases of HIV, mental disorders, and people with disabilities, they are stigmatized because the propaganda and advocacy work is still not guaranteed. The guidelines and policies of the Party and State on anti-discrimination have not really been promoted well and have been widely deployed to all classes of people.
  • In addition, the strangeness can also originate from outdated and unscientific views.
  • Due to the majority effect, it is simply understood as believing and “following” what the majority thinks is right.
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Stigma and discrimination can stem from many different causes. However, even if it is formed by any reason, it is necessary to take measures to limit stigma in the community and prevent negative effects on society, especially individuals and groups. stigmatized person.

Recognizing the signs of being stigmatized

The most recognizable manifestation of being stigmatized is being shunned, avoided, limited by people around, or even ostracized or chased away. Take a typical example of stigmatizing people living with HIV as follows:

Stigma can take place anywhere, at school, at home, at work, etc.

At a medical facility:

  • Delaying the implementation of treatment measures, being slow to serve or refusing to accept surgery for people living with HIV.
  • Reluctance and reluctance to interact with HIV-infected patients.
  • Refuse to give them treatment.
  • Admitted to hospital but not applying any treatment measures.
  • Full responsibility for the care of HIV-infected patients.
  • Stopping the treatment even though the condition has not improved or is not completely cured.
  • Only accept admission or treatment when the patient meets certain conditions.
  • Force the patient to take multiple HIV tests even though it is not necessary.
  • Forcing patients to be discharged from the hospital early even though their health is still not really stable.

In families with HIV-infected people:

  • Refusing to contact, talk to, or isolate with HIV-infected people.
  • Build a strained relationship with them.
  • Reluctance to communicate, do not shake hands, do not sit next to, do not want to talk.
  • Divide boundaries, living areas, do not share household items.
  • Prohibit HIV-infected people from contacting their relatives, children and relatives.
  • Force them to move or even kick them out.

In the community:

  • Prohibiting or restricting HIV-infected people from going to public, crowded places, not using common services such as toilets, parks, etc.
  • Do not go to the residence of people living with HIV or people related to HIV.
  • Boycott, chase away when people infected with HIV come to buy goods or even their loved ones.
  • Expelling and eliminating HIV-infected people from community activities.
  • Do not attend parties or funerals of individuals or families with HIV-positive individuals.

At work:

  • Tendency to avoid, avoid, avoid contact.
  • Conduct blood collection for HIV testing before recruitment.
  • Using material and property to persuade HIV-infected people to quit their jobs or force them to quit their jobs.
  • Cut all labor benefits such as social insurance, health insurance of employees infected with HIV.
  • Arbitrarily adjusting their workplace without specific notice.

At school:

  • Forcing students with HIV to sit at a separate table
  • Teachers and friends do not dare to get close and talk
  • Parents constantly put pressure on the school because they do not want their children to study with children with HIV.
  • Schools create their own reasons to force drop out.
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Unforeseen consequences of discriminatory behavior

Stigma and discrimination can take place openly or implicitly, can be harsh or subtle in many different situations and manifest in many forms and levels. Although now, people’s understanding is gradually improving, but in our country and many other countries, this situation has not been completely overcome. Discriminatory acts, if continued, will cause many negative effects on the stigmatized person, the community, and society. As follows:

Stigma against people living with HIV can increase the likelihood of community transmission of the disease.

For the stigmatized person:

If you are a victim of discrimination, many people will gradually feel ashamed, lack confidence in themselves, lose confidence in their own true worth, and fear meeting those around them. That is why they always feel shy, do not dare to disclose personal information as well as their status.

Especially for those infected with HIV, COVID -19 or experiencing mental problems, they will become more withdrawn, not daring to seek support services, treatment and risk making the disease silent. grow, even spread more. In addition, due to the stigmatizing attitudes of those around them, it also makes them vulnerable, sad and affects their intimate health, making the process of improving the disease difficult.

For the fight against HIV, COVID-19:

If the stigma increases and there is no appropriate intervention, it will increase the rate of infection in the community. Because:

  • Patients are afraid that they will be stigmatized and discriminated against by the community, so they do not dare to conduct examinations and diagnose the disease, so they will not have appropriate interventions, making the disease even more widespread.
  • Curiosity hinders the process of accessing, caring, counseling, treating and predicting for patients, causing them to tend to hide the disease and accelerate the development of the disease.
  • Due to the fear of having a long life, many people tend to avoid and refuse treatment.
  • This also makes it difficult to control the number of patients, thereby making it impossible to make an accurate plan for prevention and treatment.

For society:

As shared above, period is the alienation, exclusion of an individual or a group of people towards another individual or group of people. This situation will seriously affect social relationships, such as friends, colleagues, family, relatives, husband and wife, etc. At the same time, strangeness also limits a person’s relationships. Some basic rights of citizens, such as the right to study and work, the right to health care, the right to love and care from family and society.

The information in this article has helped readers better understand the stigma that exists in today’s society. According to Vietnamese law, there are specific regulations on each individual and organization not to discriminate or discriminate against others in any form. Each violation will be severely punished according to regulations.

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