Analysis of the feelings of patients with HIV/AIDS and HCV in contact with health professionals. Assessment based on cases of stigmatisation and discrimination
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Institute of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Jagiellonian University, Medical College, Krakow, Poland
Dziupla Statistical Analysis, Warsaw, Poland
Faculty of Psychology in Sopot SWPS University
Faculty of Psychology, Pedagogy and Humanities, Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski University, Krakow, Poland
Submission date: 2023-04-20
Final revision date: 2023-07-18
Acceptance date: 2023-07-23
Online publication date: 2023-10-16
Publication date: 2023-10-16
Corresponding author
Maciej Rogala   

Institute of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Jagiellonian University, Medical College, Krakow, Poland
This study aimed to investigate incidences of stigmatisation and discrimination by selected health professionals against patients with HIV/AIDS and HCV, and to assess how these affected feelings in both groups.

The study involved 160 patients - 80 diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in the baseline group and 80 with HCV in the comparison group. Patients were recruited from among patients treated in two outpatient clinics of the University Hospital in Krakow.

Incidents of stigmatisation and discrimination were observed significantly more often in the HIV/AIDS group compared to the HCV group. According to the patients, incidents of stigmatisation and discrimination on the part of medical staff occur due to fear and a sense of threat from infection with the viruses. The experience of stigmatisation and discrimination by patients manifests itself in the impediment or denial of healthcare services by medical professionals. Some of the medical staff blamed the patients for the infection, expressed disrespect and verbal aggression towards them, and treated them worse when they found out about the infection. Their emotional state depended on the nature of the relationship with the medical staff triggered by stigmatisation and discrimination.

Stigmatisation and discrimination by medical staff against patients were, according to the respondents, linked to fear of infection but confirmation of this relationship would require further research. In the course of these cases, patients experienced pejorative verbal evaluation, impediment or denial of health services, which could have specific health consequences. These types of attitudes had a negative impact on their emotional state

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