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Local Understanding of an HIV Vaccine and Its Relationship with HIV-related Stigma in the Dominican Republic

Citation

Barrington, Clare; Moreno, Luis A.; & Kerrigan, Deanna L. (2007). Local Understanding of an HIV Vaccine and Its Relationship with HIV-related Stigma in the Dominican Republic. AIDS Care, 19(7), 871-877.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore local perceptions and experiences regarding vaccines in general and HIV vaccines and vaccine trials in the Dominican Republic. In-depth interviews were carried out with 25 participants representing two study groups: (1) individuals considered at high risk for HIV infection including female sex workers and male STI clinic attendees and (2) individuals considered at low risk of HIV infection including women and men recruited at a general outpatient clinic. Across the groups, participants often characterized vaccines in general as having both preventive and curative properties. In turn, one of the most salient concerns regarding the receipt of an HIV vaccine was the fear that one would be labelled 'HIV positive' and stigmatized, as the vaccine may be perceived as a cure for those already infected. These findings suggest the importance of individual and community level education to clarify the nature and mechanisms of the given HIV vaccine being tested. Social support and counselling services should also accompany HIV vaccine trials and distribution plans to assist individuals in determining if and how they communicate their participation and/or receipt of an HIV vaccine to others and manage potential negative social reactions.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09540120701203295

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published

2007

Journal Title

AIDS Care

Author(s)

Barrington, Clare
Moreno, Luis A.
Kerrigan, Deanna L.