TITLE

What should HIV / AIDS be called in Malawi?

AUTHOR(S)
Muula, Adamson S.
PUB. DATE
March 2005
SOURCE
Nursing Ethics;Mar2005, Vol. 12 Issue 2, p187
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
HIV / AIDS is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the southern African country of Malawi. At the largest referral health facility in Blantyre, the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, the majority of patients hospitalized in medical wards and up to a third of those in the maternity unit are infected with HIV. Many patients in the surgical wards also have HIV / AIDS. Health professionals in Blantyre, however, often choose not to write down the diagnosis of HIV or AIDS; rather, they prefer to use 'SGOT', 'ELISA' and 'spot test' to represent the HIV test, while 'immunosuppression', ' ↓ CD4 disease' and 'ARC' are preferred instead of 'AIDS'. It is possible that health professionals' belief that mentioning HIV and / or AIDS will harm patients is encouraging them to use these euphemisms. The use of less than exact terms to label HIV and AIDS may not be without cost. For instance, future attempts to conduct retrospective case study research may be hampered by this practice, which is not in accordance with the international classification of diseases. It is suggested that, although stigmatization and discrimination could be important driving factors in the use of cryptic language, it may be more worthy to fight discrimination and stigmatization head-on, rather than create avenues where these reactions may be perpetuated.
ACCESSION #
16235817

 

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