Behaviours used by HIV-positive adolescents to prevent stigmatization in Botswana

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Background:The increasing numbers of adolescents living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) are a compelling public health issue, and interventions are more likely to be effective if developed from the perspective of those adolescents. Despite the prevalence of HIV in Botswana, stigmatization is a common occurrence.Aim:The purpose of this paper is to report on the findings of a study undertaken to describe adolescents' perceptions in Botswana on the behaviours that HIV-positive adolescents use in dealing with stigmatization.Method:Four focus group discussions were held with 18 adolescents.Findings:Adhering to AIDS therapies, seeking early treatment for common conditions and keeping silent about their diagnosis were the major findings of the study.Conclusion:The findings have implications for both policy makers and health care practitioners.

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