DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18203/2394-6040.ijcmph20211734

Exploration of traditional beliefs about human immunodeficiency virus and associated stigma among black Africans in the UK: a pilot study with implication for practice in Africa

Aaron Akpu Philip, Samantha Davis, Candidus Nwakasi, Victor Oti Baba

Abstract


Background: In the UK, black Africans account for the most affected ethnic population with HIV. Black Africans hold traditional beliefs which have been reported to cause certain misconceptions about the cause of HIV. Also, despite being in a developed country like the UK, it has been noted that Black Africans still hold these beliefs. This study was aimed at exploring the influence of traditional beliefs about the cause of HIV and HIV related stigma among Black Africans in the diaspora.

Methods: Semi structured interviews were conducted among six individuals (M-4, F-2), three of which were people living with HIV (PLHIV). Participants were selected purposively. The study included male and/or female English-speaking Black Africans who were 18 years+ and not born in the UK but had migrated to live there.

Results: The resulting data was analysed thematically, and three themes were developed: God created disease as a punishment for mankind…”: Punishment from God, “…witches, they can make HIV…: HIV as related to witchcraft and “hanging on to traditional beliefs thus mistreating people with HIV: Traditional African beliefs cause stigma.

Conclusions: The main finding of this study reveals that participants who are knowledgeable about HIV still hold traditional beliefs about HIV. These beliefs are reported to exacerbate stigma against PLHIV. The study recommends that traditional beliefs should be prioritised when planning HIV prevention programs.


Keywords


Traditional beliefs, Cultural beliefs, HIV-related stigma, HIV, Black Africans, Africa

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References


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