Stigma with Neema
After youth CAB 2017 graduation, the youth CAB members who remain in the group asked to learn about Stigma on HIV. We picked Neema Materu to teach stigma as the youth asked and she agreed on that.
She started by asking questions to make sure everyone is familiar with stigma and later on she split the youth into four groups and she gave different questions in each groups so they can discuss and get into details about stigma.
Question To Group No. 1
Where you live, do you experience stigma? And how did you?
In this group they did discuss and outline different kind of stigma they are experiencing in their daily life:
In school we experience gender imbalance by seen boys are favored than girls (We know this is not related to HIV but this is one of the stigma). So that this system make girls think they are always pushed down even when they want to easily access medical services.
Traditions and customs puts men first on everything
Big gap/wall between the poor and the rich
Lastly is we are experiencing stigma in our community especially when they find out you have chronic diseases like HIV, TB or any kind of diseases related to those mentioned. Some places where they have no HIV knowledge, they won’t even share plates.
Question To Group No. 2
Explain what cause stigma.
In this group they started by defining what is stigma.
Self Stigma is when someone isolates themselves and thinks they can’t do anything and they are not better than the other. But also stigma as stigma can be when someone or a group of people don’t want you to be involved in a particular matter because you have serious sickness and they are scared to catch it.
Lack of education- People who doesn’t have enough education, they are the one who cause stigma. So HIV education is real important to the community in order to eradicate stigma and discrimination.
Diseases- Now days there are many people are being stigmatized with their families just because they have HIV, at the same time other people who are living with HIV are experiencing self stigma after they found out they have HIV virus. So diseases can be a major cause as well.
Poverty- Poverty is another cause of stigma, some people think this person is not deserving to have any good position because s/he is poor and at the same time there are people who think they don’t deserve something because they are poor.
Traditions- Many traditions are putting women down because they think they are not better or on the same level as men (Educationally, Economically and even when they speak out their views or opinions), so traditions play big part on this as well.
Question To Group No.3
Explain how education can help to eradicate stigma.
Education on stigma is the major thing needed in the community so that it can show stigma is still exist.
Education on chronic diseases is also important to the community and families we are from, because once family members know how to help/live/care someone with chronic diseases like HIV and TB, it will make them not stigmatize the person.
Education also brings people together because you feel like you are all in the same page.
Question To Group No. 4
What should be done to eradicate stigma?
First will be education to the community on stigma and how stigma can cause death, low self-esteem, etc
To conduct seminars in the churches, mosques, markets and schools so we can reach many people.
Organizing social events where they invite everyone who are affected and infected and teach them about stigma and ways to eradicated it.
After group discussion youth came together and present in front of everyone in order to hear from each group what they have been discussed.
Neema conclude by tell them to be advocates of stigma redaction in their community and encourage everyone to use their medicine as doctor says. We closed the meeting and planned for April meeting and youth proposed if someone can teach “What is CAB”.