Institute for Social Development Studies

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Reducing stigma and discrimination: Safe and friendly hospitals


Hanoi, 29 Feb 08, Institute for Social Development Studies (ISDS) organized a workshop to introduce report “Improving hospital-based quality of care in Vietnam by Reducing HIV-related stigma and discrimination”, this research report was written by Dr. Khuat Thi Hai Oanh regarding project “Reducing HIV-related stigma and discrimination in health care setting in Vietnam” conducted in 4 hospitals. This project was conducted by ISDS, International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) and Horizons program and funded by PEPFAR program in Vietnam. Many organizations and individual work in HIV issue include VAAC were interested in this event.

Stigma and discrimination related HIV is still very important topic in the world and also is barrier against PLWH in progress to integrate and access to social services, specially medical services. In Vietnam, although many effort and policies, rules from government to reduce stigma and discrimination against PLWH but this issue in health care setting is still not concerned enough. Result from baseline research showed that S&D in health care setting almost begins from the fear of HIV transmittion through common contact because lack of comprehensive knowlegde about HIV transmition and the equivocal fearing about HIV in general public.

“Although have some knowledge about HIV but fearing of transmitted HIV through common contact make health worker try to protect themselves by determine who is patient have HIV and reduce to contact with them. Many health worker think that they have allowed to know who is patient have HIV for protect themselves”, Dr Khuat said and added “We found that some kind of way that almost hospitals often use to determine HIV patient such as mandatory HIV testing, take HIV patients in private room/bed, indicate in patient profile or clothes…. Health worker think that these are sensible methods to protect themselves, but in fact all of these are not based medical knowledge and also are kind of discrimination against HIV patients, separate HIV patients faraway other patients and make the fearing for everyone, and make HIV patients have feeling that being stigma”. Intervention of project in hospitals include trainning about HIV, stigma related HIV and Universal Precausion for all of health worker attracted positive participation of leaders and staffs of hospitals.


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