The Marginalization of Women with HIV and AIDS

By Carla Reis Abreu-Ellis and Jason Brent Ellis.

Published by The Diversity Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper discusses two case studies of women diagnosed with HIV and AIDS. Page (1984) observed that, in modern culture, stigma has taken the connotation of being “associated almost exclusively with ‘inferior’ forms of physical appearance, conduct or ethnicity” (p. 2), and further that, “stigma has tended to be associated with those inferior attributes that are commonly regarded as major norm infractions” (p. 4). In this sense HIV and AIDS are viewed as outside of the societal norm as the label must be shared to gain both support and services from the medical industry and family members. This paper discusses the lived experiences of marginalization and stigma associated with living with HIV and AIDS within the critical lens of being a woman. Participants shared their perspectives during an open ended interview process. Common emergent themes included that of discrimination, stigma within society and the familial unit, and stigma consciousness. As an outcome, participants suggest a social and educational response to those living with HIV and AIDS.

Keywords: AIDS, HIV, Stigma, Marginalization, Discrimination, Women

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp.277-284. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 628.274KB).

Dr. Carla Reis Abreu-Ellis

Assistant Professor, Dwight Schar College of Education, Ashland University, Ashland, OH, USA

Dr. Carla Abreu-Ellis is an Assistant Professor of Intervention Services, in the College of Education, at Ashland University. Her research interests include college experiences of students with learning disabilities, assistive technology use in higher education, and issues related to college student access, diversity, and retention.

Dr. Jason Brent Ellis

Assistant Professor, College of Education, Ashland University, Ashland, OH, USA

Jason Brent Ellis is an Assistant Professor at Ashland University. His instructional area is education and technology. His research includes such topics as assistive technology use by students with disabilities in higher education and ways of leveling the digital divide through grass-roots community approaches. His current interest in technology use in higher education focuses on destigmatizing disabilities on college campuses through the incorporation of curricular interventions.


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