Stigma Stories

Story 1. Testing Positive
My health was good, but I was worried about HIV and took an HIV test. I tested HIV positive. I felt very upset and worried about what people would say if they found out about my HIV status. So I did not tell anyone. I managed to start Anti-Retroviral treatment without anyone knowing. Then one day I began to cough. The cough became worse; it would not go away. I tried all kinds of cough medicines but nothing worked. I had the feeling (knew) it was TB, but now I felt my life had ended. Everyone would find out about the HIV.
Story 2. Mr Brown

Mr. Brown recently went to the clinic for a TB test. He was diagnosed with TB through a positive sputum test. The nurse advised him to go for an HIV test too, but he refused and said that he did not want to know his HIV status. He feared that it would only bring more stigma and judgment. He did not go for the HIV test.
Story 3. My Older brother

My older brother was diagnosed with TB. He called me and said that he had been evicted by his landlord and had nowhere to stay. He came to stay with me. I felt angry and told him that I was putting my children at risk of getting TB and HIV. I made sure I gave him separate bedding and utensils.
IDevice Icon Activity: Discuss the stories
  1. What is the link between TB and HIV in each story?
  2. How does this link affect how people with TB are seen?
  3. What is your own experience of how people react to TB and HIV?
  4. What are the consequences of not being tested?
  5. Identify five current common myths about TB.

Write short notes to explain:

  • Where do you think these myths come from?
  • What are some of the reasons behind the myths?
  • How do these myths lead to TB stigma?