Understanding impact of shame on HIV patients better may improve healthcare: Study - ANI News
Dec 08, 2021 1 min, 4 secs
Doctors and nurses should be more aware of how shame related to stigma can contribute to ill health, especially in experiences of chronic illnesses such as HIV.

Shame can act as a chronic stressor that can lead to psychobiological changes in the body which can exacerbate physical conditions.

It can also lead to a range of behaviours and outcomes which can negatively affect health treatment.

Professor Luna Dolezal, from the University of Exeter, who carried out the research, said, "The experience of shame, particularly shame anxiety, is central to understanding how stigma causes harm, especially in experiences of chronic illness such as HIV.

Shame is not only part of the affective climate when considering HIV disclosure, prevention and care, but also one of the core mechanisms within HIV-related stigma that lead to distress, harm and an increased burden of illness.".

"If we want to understand how health-related stigma, and its related social phenomena, are experienced by an individual and how this might impact on health-related behaviour and health outcomes, then we must understand how stigma-related shame is experienced.

Theorizing the potential for shame, or shame anxiety, as a structural possibility in experiences of stigma may be a powerful means to understand the mechanisms through which stigma can cause distress and exacerbate negative health outcomes," Luna added.

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