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An Exploratory Case Study of HIV/AIDS Related Stigma in Rural Ghana

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Title: An Exploratory Case Study of HIV/AIDS Related Stigma in Rural Ghana
Author: Farouq, Ayiworoh
Department: School of Environmental Design and Rural Development
Program: Capacity Development and Extension
Advisor: Hambly Odame, Helen
Abstract: This thesis is an exploration of the nature of HIV/AIDS related stigma in the rural community of Wa, Ghana. The research study seeks to describe attitudes within the community about the disease, describe existing de-stigmatization approaches used by relevant bodies, and also examine in a preliminary manner, the effectiveness of these approaches in reducing HIV/AIDS related stigma in the community. Despite the significant progress made in the reduction of new HIV infections, HIV/AIDS related stigma still remains one of the main challenges faced by rural communities globally. The epistemological approach used was based on social constructivism theory. Findings indicate that knowledge is not synonymous with behaviour change and is insufficient to effectively reduce stigma hence there is the need for more funding to embrace a broader and more effective stigma reducing strategies. This study suggests that, HIV/AIDS related stigma is severe in rural Ghana due to rural social interaction and the implications of rural economics. Strengthening the rights of the infected and affected would consequently reduce the effects of HIV/AIDS related stigma.
Date: 2016-04
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