Myths and Misunderstanding

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In some places there has been stigma attached to TB. This is because there has not been enough education to teach people about TB symptoms, reduce discrimination and encourage them to seek treatment.

People risk losing their jobs and housing if it becomes known that they have TB. The stigma and stress may be worse for women. In some cultures, having TB may make it difficult to find a husband or can result in divorce. Links between HIV and AIDS and TB are worsening the stigma.

Causes of Stigma

  • Thinking you are better than the person with TB
  • Judging a person with TB
  • Myths such as "TB patients are sinners", "Careless with hygiene and ventilation"
  • Fear and ignorance, lack of knowledge, misconceptions about how TB is passed on, fear about getting TB through casual contact.
iDevice icon Group Activity
Discuss the following
  1. What do you understand by the term stigma?
  2. Why do you think stigma exists?
  3. Stigma leads to discrimination, what is discrimination?
  4. Mention some examples of discrimination you experienced.