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Running head:  RESEARCH REPORT                                                                                                           1

 

Research Report

Damian Q. Laster

COUN5006 Survey of Research Methodology

 

 

 

2909 Highland Ave. S.

Birmingham, AL 35205

Telephone:  404 312-3172

Email: dqlaster@yahoo.com

Instructor: Michael Hayes

 

 

 

 

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Abstract

This research report examined HIV Stigma (HS) and Social Support SS) for people diagnosed HIV positive (HIV+) and determined that HS and SS is a worldwide problem.  HS resulted in depression, isolation, oppression, discrimination, rejection, mental health problems, career loss, substance abuse, suicidal ideation.  HIV+ people who felt stigmatized had higher levels of depression, and experienced alcohol and substance use and abuse.  Fear was associated with blood transfusions and disclosure of HIV+ diagnosis.   ARV drug regimens were shown to not be adhered to by people who were diagnosed HIV+.  The research also showed that HS was directly correlated with low SS.  In other words, higher levels of HS were associated with lowered levels of SS.  HIV dissent is a worthy area for further and future research, as it will present new levels of consciousness awareness about disease manifestation and why HIV is thought to be not proved to exist and verified by science.  Overall health through effective program development to address reducing and eradicating HS while increasing QQ, and improving quality of life (QOL) for people diagnosed HIV+.  Additionally, alternative and holistic health care inclusive of emotion-focused coping and informational support can be provided to educate people receive an HIV+ diagnosis, their families, the larger community and the world in an effort to reduce HIV stigma.

 

 

 

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Introduction

This research project examined HIV Stigma (HS) and Social Support SS) for people diagnosed HIV positive (HIV+) and determined that HS and SS is a worldwide problem.  HS resulted in depression, isolation, oppression, discrimination, rejection, mental health problems, career loss, substance abuse, suicidal ideation.  HIV+ people who felt stigmatized had higher levels of depression, and experienced alcohol and substance use and abuse.  Fear was associated with blood transfusions and disclosure of HIV+ diagnosis.   ARV drug regimens were shown to not be adhered to by people who were diagnosed HIV+.  The research also showed that HS was directly correlated with low SS.  In other words, higher levels of HS were associated with lowered levels of SS.  HIV dissent is a worthy area for further and future research, as it will present new levels of consciousness awareness about disease manifestation and why HIV is thought to be not proved to exist and verified by science.  Overall health through effective program development to address reducing and eradicating HS while increasing QQ, and improving quality of life (QOL) for people diagnosed HIV+.  Additionally, alternative and holistic health care inclusive of emotion-focused coping and informational support can be provided to educate people receive an HIV+ diagnosis, their families, the larger community and the world in an effort to reduce HIV stigma.

Literature Review

Earnshaw, Lang, Lippitt, Jin, Chaudoir, 2014 showed that despite efforts, societal stigma threatens the health of people diagnosed HIV+.  The stress associated with lack of familial and

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community support was associated with purported HIV symptoms related to stress.  In fact, no resources kept people diagnosed HIV+ from the harmful effects of HIV Stigma.  I hope to fill the gap in research by finding out if Earnshaw et al.’s research can be refuted and perhaps amended upon further examination of this issue to determine what can effectively be done to diminish HIV Stigma and increase Social Support to improve the health of people diagnosed HIV+.

Farber, Lamis, Shahane, Campos, 2014 showed that HS represented a source of major stress in one mental health services program.  Their cross-sectional investigation examined associations between SS and perceived HS, which resulted from blaming and distancing that people imposed on people diagnosed HIV+.  The blaming dynamic was negatively correlated with stigma.  However, SS mediated positive personal meaning, distancing and blaming.

People who stigmatize persons diagnosed HIV+ vary across age, culture, race, religion, socioeconomic strata, educational level and every other category with one thing in common:  averse and adverse reactions from most people toward those diagnosed HIV+.  A review of the literature showed that the factors that contribute to HS because people received the HIV+ diagnosed as having been caused by personal irresponsibility and promiscuity.

HS was pervasive in religious groups as well.  The church held moral and religious beliefs which taught that guilt and punishment for immoral behavior resulted in receiving an HIV + diagnosis.  These will be explored as contributors to HS.  Consequently, people diagnosed HIV+ were feared, demonized and set apart from the larger community as they are viewed as

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potential contagions and sexual contaminators.  Moreover, the physical effects on a person’s appearance due to the effects of ARV therapy resulted in forced disclosure of HIV status and the stigmatizing of people diagnosed HIV+.

The impact of receiving an HIV+ diagnosis is a complex issue.  Themes were revealed:  issues about difficulties disclosing status, medication adherence, psychological, social and emotional burdens that lead to social and relationship problems in families and intimate relationships. Participants reported having experienced abandonment from friends and family, threats of loss of employment, eviction from their homes, diminished in self-esteem, denial of professional services, loss of hope and changes in plans and loss of hope for future aspirations.  The negative effects of stress on adolescents has been largely understudied, but adult studies have allowed for conceptualization of how adolescents might be affected.  They too, were highly stigmatized by what is thought to be a life-threatening illness.  As a result of HIV stigma, the participants reported depression and severe hopelessness that was not contaminated by physical symptoms, yet anger has been found to be a common emotional reaction that led to diseases like diabetes.

Loss of reputation, diminished self-concept and self-esteem resulted in feelings of worthlessness, job loss and loss of income, despair, depression, PTSD, and suicidal ideation that often bring clients in for counseling treatment as determined by researchers in this literature review.  Ban Ki Moon, The Avert National Secretary, said that HIV stigma was the single most important barrier to public action http://www.avert.org/hiv-aids-stigma-and-discrimination.htm.

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People tended to avoid seeking help when they experienced physical and emotional symptoms of diseases and illnesses when they perceive that they were are HIV-related.

Research Methodology/Data Analysis

Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methodology

Qualitative research design is one way researchers studied personal meanings, intimate relationships and in-depth holistic perspectives of people whose are shaped by their environment and the events of their lives.  Researchers gained valuable insight and information through participants’ descriptive renderings of life events in interviews.  Qualitative analysis is not hard science.  It allowed participants to freedom to use their own language to express themselves to the best of their ability (Houser, 2015).  Qualitative research analysis involved organizing, categorizing and looking for patterns in the data collected.  The researcher eliminated personal involvement in phenomenological Research, examined, clusters, and synthesized the data into meaningful information (Houser, 2015).

Qualitative researcher allowed flexibility to gain understanding of unusual or exceptional situations without having to utilize extensive or expensive resources.  It was the responsibility of the researchers to recognize potential for bias in the collection of data to increase opportunities to generalize their results of research to the larger population.  The methods chosen protected the privacy of the participants whether the approach and research design method chosen was a case study, ethnographic study, grounded theory, historical or a

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phenomenological approach that helped researchers understand how humans developed a way of knowing their world (Houser, 2015).

Both qualitative and quantitative research methods were used to study HS and SS Foster, Pamela, P., & Gaskins, Susan W. (2009).  One empirical study was both qualitative and quantitative and utilized interviews and focus groups who described their HIV related stigma experiences.  24 men and women over the age of 50 who were diagnosed HIV+ were audiotaped and transcribed for analysis. 

Comparative data analysis obtained from stigma scales revealed 4 themes:  acceptance of the disease, disclosure, stigma experiences and the need for HIV education.  Internalized shame was the most significant factor but not actual stigma itself that affected people diagnosed HIV+ in that study.  Intervention efforts related to programs directed at reducing shame and improving social support were implicated.  The usual demographic categories were considered along with how it was perceived to have been allegedly contracted, whether from sexual contact or blood transfusion or injection drug use.

Adolescents and HIV Stigma and Social Support

The purported so-called HIV virus was said to have affected 34 million people in the world according to the United Nations Program.  Women, minorities and children ages 13-21 were diagnosed HIV+ at alarmingly ever-increasing rates.  These people were presumed to have been sexually active and therefore so-called “infected” in adolescence

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http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/hivaids/Pages/Default.aspx .

Hosek (2005) studied HS and SS in adolescent HIV+ participants using quantitative methods. Current interventions are aimed at increasing antiretroviral  (ARV) medication adherence among people diagnosed HIV+.  Adolescents between the ages of 16 and 24 were studied.  17 females, 25 males participated.  66% had missed a dose of medicine in the past week while 42% missed a dose yesterday.  Depression and age of first marijuana use was determined by regression analyses and demonstrated that first use of marijuana, as predicted, was statistically significant in predicted higher rates of non-adherence.  Interestingly, 69% of adolescents ages 16 to 24 had yet to begin the transition from concrete thinking to formal/abstract reasoning ability.

Mental Health Impact of HS and SS

Li, Li, & Lee, S. J., & Thammawijaya, P., & Jiraphongsa, C., & Rotheram-Borus (1984) uncovered a less studied dimension of worldwide HS and SS that typically accompanied the well-known ones that included oppression, discrimination, fear, and rejection, The dimension of loneliness was studied to determine how it impacted mental health.  A gap was revealed.  The personal stress and associated social inequality kept persons diagnosed HIV+ from seeking counseling help.  A randomized controlled intervention trial for families in Thailand was performed in this quantitative research study.  HS measures were adapted from scales.  Composite variables from subscales of emotional/informational/affectionate support in the Medical Outcomes Study Social Support Scale yielded correlations between those variables.

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112 HIV+ male and female participants ranged in age from 23 to 64 (average age 37), education and income level.  As predicted and hypothesized, higher levels of depression were prevalent among people living with HIV stigma and lack of social support.  Continued intervention programs that promote diminished stigma and promote increased social support were implicated.

Mental Health and Antiretroviral Drugs (ARVs) and HS/SS

The physical effects on a person’s appearance due to the effects of ARV therapy resulted in forced disclosure of HIV status and the resulting stigmatization of people diagnosed HIV+.  Reuda, S., & Gibson, K., & Rourke, S., & Bekele, T., & Gardner, S., & Cairney, J. (2012) showed that HS was associated with depressive symptoms.  The purpose of the study was to examine (mastery) or internal psychosocial resource and control over the forces in one’s life, versus (support) or the interpersonal relationships, networks and social interactions) available to people.  Results indicated that a sense of mastery and personal control over one’s health and life moderated the negative effects of HIV stigma and depressive symptoms, while SS did not.

825 participants were studied.  Researchers controlled for potential clinical and demographic cofounders. Data was collected from structured interviews.  The independent variables of age, race, gender, personal income, employment status, sexuality (straight/gay/bisexual) were tabled.  The results were consistent with other cross-sectional studies that show that social support moderates depressive symptoms.  Implications for mental health counseling were to

 

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consider whether a client diagnosed HIV + was at a necessary level of mastery that would allow counselors to consider appropriate treatment approaches.

In Australia, 20 gay men who were diagnosed HIV+ between the ages of 22 and 49 talked about ARV therapy in interviews.  They discussed drug treatment regimens and morale concerns.  Participants did not want to begin therapy in the absence of physical symptoms.  They did not want to be monitored and pressured to start ARVs Gold, Ron S. (2001).  Further, the physical effects a person’s appearance due to the effects of ARV therapy resulted in forced disclosure of HIV status which resulted in HIV stigmatization.

Multicultural Concerns and Research Methods

Demeke (2014) showed that HIV stigma disproportionately affected African Americans.  He found that native born African-American HS as determined by the Brief COPE scale, other scales, and medical outcomes showed that foreign-born Blacks were less likely than native-born Black participants in the study to disclose, cope and receive SS.  They tended to avoid coping more than native-born Blacks.  Native-born participants were also likely to be heterosexual, female, non-smoker, non-drinker, women living with someone, where foreign born Blacks who were stigmatized were more likely to be male/female, homosexual, homo and hetero sexual prostitutes and hustlers, drug users and people with low-income. Foreign-born African Americans were also less likely to disclose that they had been diagnosed HIV+.  Demeke’s results revealed implications for targeting interventions for coping and increasing social support programs which would support African Americans who are disproportionately diagnosed HIV+.

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Caribbean and African American HIV+ women were also studied by Logie, C., & James, L., & Tharoa, W., & Louty, M., (2013).  Their quantitative research contributed to the understanding of the association between the independent variable of race and gender discrimination.  They revealed an association between HIV stigma and social support on the dependent variable, depression.  They used a multi-method, community based cross-sectional survey and utilized the Brief Resilient Coping Scale and the BDI-FS.  173 women non-randomized women participated in the survey.  Further, the study stated that women were greatly overrepresented in the so-called “new infections” category, and they experienced gender discrimination, barriers to treatment and mental health problems that stemmed from HS.  A descriptive analysis was performed.  Moderation and mediation analyses and block regression measured the associations between HS, gender and race discrimination.  Moderation and mediation through SS yielded the result that resilient coping was associated with reduced depression, but did not reduce HS.  It was indicated that greater micro-interventions that counsel and teach coping skills for depression and programs that challenge social stigma can promote mental health.

Researchers who created this quantitative research study hypothesized that SS can serve to protect African-Americans from stress, negativity, and discrimination resulting from HS.  Correlations between 283 HIV+ African-Americans (70% men, 25% women, 4% transgender) were recruited from a cross-sectional sample.    The purpose of the research was to examine the relationships between perceived HS and perceived SS.  Gender, age, sexuality, income, education, annual income, living situation, depression, and alcohol use, abuse or

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dependence.  A gap in the research revealed a need for further research on people diagnosed HIV+ who exhibited maladaptive alcohol consumption when they perceived that they had little SS.  Women, on the one hand, feared stigma and lack of support from friends, family, church congregants, and health care professionals. On the other, men feared self-disclosure.

Interestingly, the researchers mentioned, however, that African-Americans had higher HS from their families than Whites who were diagnosed HIV+.  As well, there were a broader range of perspectives about stigma from African-Americans than other races.  Nevertheless, when support went up, perceived stigma went down. Programs that advocate and teach less ruminating can result in better mental health.

In Australia 20 gay men who were diagnosed HIV+ between the ages of 22 and 49 talked about ARV therapy in interviews.  They discussed drug treatment regimens and morale concerns.  Participants did not want to begin therapy in the absence of physical symptoms.  They did not want to be monitored and pressured to start ARVs.

In China, HIV stigma and social support was also studied among injection drug users in China at a drug clinic.  The purpose of the study was to examine relationships between mental health and their caregivers using quantitative measures.  Multivariate linear regression analysis showed that the strongest predictor of poor caregiving was HS, which resulted in low levels of SS that also affected the caregivers’ stress, burden and psychological health, which in turn, affected caregiving and patient care. 110% of eligible participants agreed to be assessed using the Hospital Assessment for Depression Scale (HADS).  96 patients participated.  Demographic

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and medical covariates between patient and caregiver were statistically evaluated using a t-test for continuous variables.  Demographic factors included age, sex, education, family health history, personal health history, substance abuse history, relationship status (S or M), and mental health were factored.  As hypothesized, caregivers’ poor mental health status affected

their ability to provide care to people diagnosed HIV+ who were also injection drug Greene, M. C., & Zhang, J., & Desai, M., & Kershaw, T., 2013.

Media and Internet and HIV Stigma and Social Support

People diagnosed HIV+ turned to the media and internet to garner support for HS and SS.  A qualitative study researched media practices of people diagnosed HIV+ who sought internet support as a strategy for self-representation.   Themes included autobiography, expertise, self-promotion and activism for public health issues related to HIV diagnosis.  One ethnographic study filled the gap by studying internet sites where people presented autobiographies, expertise and self-promotion from an HIV dissenter’s perspective.  It is believed that there is a connection between media activism and people who use the internet as a forum for activism.  Public health problems and issues can be addressed and expressed on the internet in ways that are omitted by other media.  There are gaps in the research for people diagnosed HIV positive (+).  Race, geographic location, are factors Gillett, James, 2003.

Peter, Meylakhs, & Yuri, Rykov, & Olessia, Koltsova, & Sergey, Koltsoy (2014) completed an interesting qualitative internet research study called, An AIDS-Denialist Online Community

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on a Russian Social Networking Service:  Patterns of Interactions with Newcomers and Rhetorical Strategies of Persuasion.

“Netnography” allowed for a method of collecting data at least 2-3 times a week for 9 months by periodically downloading community discussions for qualitative analysis.  The AIDS “Denialist” communities showed patterns of interactions to newcomers to the group and showed rhetorical strategies that “denialists” used for persuasion and to compel the veracity of their views.  4821 posts and comments were analyzed.  Grounded theory was used for data analysis.  Most people came to the discussions because their personal stories did not fit or support the prevailing HIV paradigm.  Doubters were undecided in their views about HIV.  “Denialists” refuted it.  Orthodox views held fast to the purported science and propaganda.  Reception ranged from convinced to cold or slightly hostile to extremely hostile.

Regardless of widespread public opinion and the widespread depiction of HIV/AIDS, AIDS “Denialists” suspected that something was wrong with the so-called scientific theory of HIV/AIDS and had sufficient grounds challenge the prevailing paradigm.  The research suggested that health care workers change from a one-size-fits all mode of counseling, to one that addresses the unique and complex needs of people diagnosed HIV+ because of certain scientific uncertainty.

Implications for Future Research

Continued research can be helpful when determining problems, making and testing hypotheses, collecting and analyzing the data, and designing programs that address prevention,

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intervention and mental health programs to help address and educate people diagnosed HIV+, their families, communities and the larger world population around these issues. An effective counselor I will be able to assist my clients through the healing process and improvement of the QOL of their life having endured the trauma and stress of receiving an HIV+ diagnosis.  How will I do that?  I know first-hand the importance of reducing HIV stigma in the consciousness of clients, spouses, children, families and the larger community.  Increasing social support through education can be a way to do that and enhanced caregiving for HIV clients, their families and the larger community http://www.avert.org/hiv-aids-stigma-and-discrimination.htm.

Alternative Health Care for People Diagnosed HIV+

Holistic and alternative health care improved and increased SS.  Emotion-focused coping and informational support increased physical and emotional health and increased life span and improved QOL.  Slater, Moneyham, Vance, Raper, Mugovero, and Childs, 2013 showed that social support was positively and significantly correlated with QOL, while medical comorbidities, social stigma and emotion-focused coping and social support were negatively correlated with QOL.  People who died, did so because of medical conditions simultaneously occurring in the patient, not from an HIV virus.  Slater et al. (2013) also showed that the life expectancy of people living with HIV improved the QOL in older homosexual men who received SS, emotional support and informational support.

 

 

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Multicultural Health Care Disparities

Earnshaw, V. A., & Bogart, L. M., & Dovidio, J., & Williams D. R. (2013) showed disparities in health care for racial and ethnic peoples that resulted in racial segregation, internalized stigma and multiple stigmas that manifested as traumatic assaults, psychological injury, cultural destruction, displacement, land loss and slavery, as well as diminished life-span.

Native-American/Alaskan natives, Blacks and Latinos were found to suffer more than Whites.  These scholars’ peer-reviewed research supported an empowerment agenda, resilience and innovative interventions to reduced disparities and increased social support for people diagnosed HIV+.

Additional Cultural Considerations

HIV Stigma (HS) and Social Support (SS) is a worldwide problem. Research showed problems exist in The U.S., China, Africa, Canada, Thailand, Australia and other areas of the world.  HS and SS affected Blacks, Latinos, Whites, Native Americans, Men, women and children of all ages, races and religions, and resulted in oppression, discrimination, and rejection.  People diagnosed HIV+ felt stigmatized, had higher levels of depression, mental health concerns and experienced alcohol and substance use and abuse.  Fear was associated with blood transfusions and disclosure of so-called HIV status.  There were also issues with HS and SS among drug injection users.  ARV drug regimens were shown to not be adhered to by people who were diagnosed HIV+.  HS was directly correlated with low SS.

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Caribbean, African and Black women who are diagnosed HIV Caribbean and African American HIV+ women were also studied by Logie, C., & James, L., & Tharoa, W., & Louty, M., (2013) conducted a study to contribute to the understanding of association between the independent variable of race and gender discrimination, stigma and social support on the dependent variable,  depression.  This multi-method, community based cross-sectional survey utilized the Brief Resilient Coping Scale and the BDI-FS.  173 women non-randomized women participated in the survey.  Further, the study stated that women were greatly overrepresented in the so-called “new infections” category, and they experience gender discrimination, barriers to treatment and mental health problems that stem from HIV stigma.  A descriptive analysis was performed.  Moderation and mediation analyses and block regression measured the associations between HIV stigma, gender and race discrimination.  Moderation and mediation through social support yielded the result that resilient coping was associated with reduced depression, but did not reduce HIV stigma.  It was indicated that greater micro-intervention that counsel and teach coping skills for depression and programs that challenge social stigma can promote mental health.


In China, HIV stigma and social support was also studied among injection drug users in China at a drug clinic.  The purpose of the study was to examine relationships between mental health and their caregivers using quantitative measures.  Multivariate linear regression analysis showed that the strongest predictor of poor caregiving was HS, which resulted in low levels of SS that also affected the caregivers’ stress, burden and psychological health, which in turn, affected caregiving and patient care. 110% of eligible participants agreed to be assessed using

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the Hospital Assessment for Depression Scale (HADS).  96 patients participated.  Demographic and medical covariates between patient and caregiver were statistically evaluated using a t-test for continuous variables.  Demographic factors included age, sex, education, family health history, personal health history, substance abuse history, relationship status (S or M), and mental health were factored.  As hypothesized, caregivers’ poor mental health status affected their ability to provide care to people diagnosed HIV+ who were also injection drug Greene, M. C., & Zhang, J., & Desai, M., & Kershaw, T., 2013.


With respect to HS and SS and ARVs quantitative measures were aimed at increasing antiretroviral (ARV) medication adherence among people diagnosed HIV+.  In one study of adolescents between the ages of 16 and 24, was comprised of 17 females, 25 males participated.  66% had missed a dose of medicine in the past week while 42% missed a dose yesterday.  Depression and age of first marijuana use was determined by regression analyses and demonstrated that first use of marijuana, as predicted, was statistically significant in predicted higher rates of non-adherence.  Interestingly, 69% of adolescents ages 16 to 24 had yet to begin the transition from concrete thinking to formal/abstract reasoning ability.

In one qualitative study, “Psychological and social difficulties of adolescents living with HIV:  A qualitative analysis”, researchers interviewed eight (8) 17 to 21 year old people diagnosed HIV+.  The participants, described as “Key informants” included 3 males and 5 females and were paid $15.  Interestingly, one male participant refused the compensation saying that speaking about these issues benefitted him.  Five of the 8 participants identified themselves as African-American, 1 Latino, 1 multiracial, 1 (other) identified as Jamaican.

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Flyers were handed directly to the case managers, doctors, psychologists and other researchers who already had established relationships with the participants.  A convenience sample was established from a medical center/hospital located in a Midwestern city in the US. The time lapse between the date of diagnosis and this study was 2 months to 4 years. Because of their young ages, probability sampling was not possible so a convenience sample was used.  Written parental consent of participants between the ages of 18 and 21 had to be obtained.  The fact that HIV+ is considered to be a STD, obtaining parental consent could prove to be an explosive situation resulting in abuse, psychological distress and further stigmatization that they described as “never going away” saying people who thought you were a nice person now “just hate you”.  Participants also reported distancing and isolating from their peers, avoiding friendships and being exiled from their families when they revealed their HIV+ diagnosis.  Others reported being afraid that they could inadvertently kill others.  It was also revealed that people preferred to take vitamins daily instead of prescribed ARVs for the rest of their lives.  The idea of that “freaked them out”.  Few adhered to medication regimens.  Nausea, loss of appetite were the reasons for not adhering.  One person said, “I just stopped taking it…that shit made me feel horrible…I have too much garbage on my mind to be thinking about what time to take a pill.”  Generalizability of this study was limited by convenience sampling, yet it was determined that continued collaborative relationships and efforts be forged to create effective prevention and intervention programs.

Earnshaw, Lang, Lippitt, Jin, Chaudoir, 2014 showed that despite efforts, societal stigma threatens the health of people diagnosed HIV+.  The stress associated with lack of familial and

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community support was associated with purported HIV symptoms related to stress.  In fact, no resources kept people diagnosed HIV+ from the harmful effects of HIV Stigma.  I hope to fill the gap in research by finding out if Earnshaw et al.’s research can be refuted and perhaps amended upon further examination of this issue to determine what can effectively be done to diminish HIV Stigma and increase Social Support to improve the health of people diagnosed HIV+. In his research, HIV Stigma and discrimination, the and the factors that contributed to it showed that people stigmatize people diagnosed HIV+ and others because they think of them as deserving of HS because of personal irresponsibility and promiscuity.  HIV stigma was pervasive in religious groups as well.  The guilt I felt was debilitating.  The church held moral and religious beliefs which taught that guilt and punishment for immoral behavior resulted in my and others’ receiving an HIV+ diagnosis.  These will be explored as contributors to HIV Stigma.  Consequently, people diagnosed HIV+ are feared, demonized and set apart from the larger community as they are viewed as potential contagions and sexual contaminators.  The physical effects on a person’s appearance due to the effects of ARV therapy can result in forced disclosure of HIV status and the resulting stigmatization of people diagnosed HIV+.

Farber, Lamis, Shahane, Campos, 2014 showed that HIV stigma represented a source of major stress in one mental health services program.  Their cross-sectional investigation examined associations between social support and perceived HIV stigma, which resulted from blaming and distancing that people imposed on people diagnosed HIV+.  The blaming dynamic was negatively correlated with stigma.  However, social support mediated positive personal meaning, distancing and blaming.

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People who stigmatize persons diagnosed HIV+ vary across age, culture, race, religion, socioeconomic strata, educational level and every other category with one thing in common:  averse and adverse reactions from most people toward those diagnosed HIV+.  Demeke (2014) showed that HIV stigma disproportionately affected African Americans.  Demeke found that  the native born African American HIV stigma as determined by the Brief COPE scale, other scales, and medical outcomes showed that foreign-born Blacks were less likely  than native-born Black participants in the study to disclose, cope and receive social support.  They tended to avoid coping more than native-born Blacks.  Native-born participants were also likely to be heterosexual, female, non-smoker, non-drinker, women living with someone, where foreign born Blacks who were stigmatized were more likely to be male/female, homosexual, homo and hetero sexual prostitutes and hustlers, drug users and people with low-income. Foreign-born African Americans were also less likely to disclose that they had been diagnosed HIV+.  Demeke’s results revealed implications for targeting interventions for coping and increasing social support programs which would support African Americans who are disproportionately diagnosed HIV+.

Ban Ki Moon, The Avert National Secretary has said that HIV stigma is the single most important barrier to public action http://www.avert.org/hiv-aids-stigma-and-discrimination.htm.  People tend to avoid seeking help when they experience physical and emotional symptoms of disease.  Nevertheless, because of the fear of social disgrace and HIV Stigma, people are less likely to seek help for their illnesses even when they perceive that they are HIV-related.  It is my hope that doing this research study will continue to develop improved Social Support programs

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that allow the mental counseling professionals to help reduce fear-based HIV Stigma, self-stigma and social stigma, while increasing Social Support and enhanced caregiving for HIV clients, their families and the larger community.

Practice and Implications of the Research

The loss of reputation, diminished self-concept and self-esteem can result in feelings of worthlessness, job loss and loss of income, despair, depression, PTSD, and suicidal ideation that often bring clients in for counseling treatment.  An effective counselor can assist their clients through the healing process and improvement of the QOL.  How?  By understanding the importance of reducing HIV stigma in the consciousness of clients, spouses, children, families and the larger community thereby increasing Social Support http://www.avert.org/hiv-aids-stigma-and-discrimination.htm.         

Holistic and alternative health care, improved and increased social support, emotion-focused coping and informational support can increase physical and emotional health, increase life span and improve QOL.  Slater, Moneyham, Vance, Raper, Mugovero, and Childs, 2013 showed that social support was positively and significantly correlated with QOL, while medical comorbidities, social stigma and emotion-focused coping and social support were negatively correlated with QOL.  In other words, the people who died did so because of medical conditions simultaneously occurring in the patient, not from an HIV virus.  Slater et al. (2013) also showed that the life expectancy of people living with HIV has improved the QOL in older homosexual men who receive social, emotional and informational support.  Alternative medical systems

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that involve mind-body interventions, energy therapies and other less conventional treatments experience less side effects than they do from ARVs interventions (Konnifall and Lillisand, 2006).

Alternative medical systems that involved mind-body interventions, energy therapies and other less conventional treatments experienced less side effects than they did from ARV interventions (Konnifall and Lillisand, 2006).

HIV Dissent/Looking Ahead

The topic of HIV dissent was not, however, the focus of the research, but looking ahead shall be the focus of future research.  This research project provided the backdrop for understanding experiences and observations about ways to reduce future HIV Stigma through HIV dissent education which can increase Social Support that is so important to the profession mental health counseling (MHC).  At the post-graduate school level research design and analysis can explore this important perspective.  This missing link will fill the gap that exists because of the misunderstanding of the difference between HIV and HIV antibody testing.  In other words, information regarding what HIV is and what HIV is not.

The Case Against HIV (Bauer, 2014) provided a comprehensive overview of the results of questioning thousands of people most of who were experts in their science fields about HIV/AIDS.  The HIV/AIDS dissidents’ data demonstrated conclusively that HIV is not sufficient or necessary to cause AIDS.  Award-winning documentaries, videos, films, articles and books included Continuum magazine, Positively False—Birth of a Heresy, House of Numbers, etc.,

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shed unbelievable light on the  promulgated views about HIV that were pervasively thrust into the public sphere.  The results of his study is study challenged everything about the prevailing paradigm of HIV as well as the alleged beneficial effects of ARV Prescribed drug administration.

Resuts indicated:

  1. There is no gold standard test for HIV.
  1. HIV does not destroy the immune system. People of African ancestry tested HIV+ more than any other race of people.
  1. HIV does not cause AIDS, and HIV and AIDS are not correlated in any way.
  1. HIV tests have never been shown to detect HIV.
  1. HIV was never isolated and purified by classical methods of virology.
  1. Electron micrographs did not show a virus but dead cellular=debris.
  1. HIV tests are not valid.
  1. They detect antibodies not virus.
  1. The belief that the detection of antibodies indicate earlier exposure, not infection, and in the absence of symptoms of illness would necessarily mean immunity as a result of prior infection.
  1. Viral load measurements cannot be reproduced are not specific to presumed HIV and therefore is not a marker for risk of death or progression of disease.

 

The list goes on and on and on and on and on….

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Counselors with established professional identities as HIV dissenters can work with HIV+ clients.  Having experience with HS and low SS after receiving an HIV+ diagnosis, the impact from discrimination, rejection, homophobia, alcohol and drug use and abuse, negative attitudes, maltreatment, career loss can be treated.

Inconsistencies in HIV antibody testing can be exposed.  He research currently clearly shows that many clients do not adhere to prescribed ARV regimens citing their negative effects.  Spirituality and alternative/holistic health care modalities can be can allow clients a choice in their treatment approaches.  There is opportunity to advocate for social justice and ethical standards for people diagnosed HIV+.

Peer reviewed scholarly literature regarding HIV Dissent can be greatly improved.  There is little if any available in school databases.  The agenda of the journal owners can be researched to determine why that is the case.  There can be study to determine what the HIV dissent perspective has been withheld from public consciousness.  One example of this very phenomenon is when Bruce Charlton, professor of theoretical medicine and creator of Medical Hypotheses, a journal known for its radical and dissenting agenda, came under fire by their publisher Elsevier, when they allowed the publication of an article that claimed that there is no proof that HIV causes AIDS   http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100318/full/news.2010.132.html .

What some say could potentially be potentially dangerous to public health, others contend shall be revolutionary.  This revolution will accompany and assist the current and

 

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evolving shift during this Age of Information, Age of Enlightenment and Age of Technology, Age of Truth.

Every research in this project study that involved ARVs showed that people did not adhere drug prescribed drug regimens because of their negative effects.  The researchers had hypothesized that reducing HS and improving SS would increase ARV adherence.  

Creative Research design that addresses HIV dissent can help narrow the gaps in research by providing positive informational, educational and emotional support to people diagnosed HIV +.  Given their new awareness about the HIV dissent perspective, people will have an opportunity to educate themselves and make health care decisions from a place of awareness rather than relying on others to dictate how they manage their health care.  They will have a choice whether to remove themselves from what some scientists and scholars say is a false paradigm.  Mental Health clients can also decide for themselves whether to cease their prescribed toxic drug regimens, heal their bodies, regain their mental and emotional stability, and live longer, healthier lives.  Enhanced and improved support for people diagnosed HIV+ by educating the masses starting at the individual, family and community level, and later branching out to the world community will allow counselors to counsel HIV+ clients effectively.  Exposing inconsistencies in HIV testing can lead to refusal to take the test.

The QOL for all people on the planet will improve when the HIV dissent perspective is allowed to come to awareness of the people, and is no longer squelched by the scientific community, big media, pharmaceutical companies, and misguided philanthropic organizations.  

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I hope to help others improve their QOL and increase the lifespan of people diagnosed HIV+ by eliminating HIV Stigma and increasing Social Support while stimulating resilience. HIV dissent awareness can reduce HIV Stigma and consequently increase Social Support, and improve physical, emotional and mental health of all people.

Physical symptoms of disease are self-created from prolonged states of a consciousness of fear, shame and debilitating guilt (Hay, 1984, 1987, 2004). Physical symptoms of disease were not the result of a never before isolated and purified HIV virus.  “Up to today there is no single scientifically really convincing evidence for the existence of HIV.  Not even one such retrovirus has been isolated and purified by the methods of classical virology” (Dr. Heinz Ludwig Sanger, Emeritus Professor of Molecular Biology and Virology, Max-Plank Institute for Biochenistry, Munchen.  http://www.virusmyth.com/aids/books.htm.  Astoundingly, even the HIV Antibody Test Kit says on the label itself that the test is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for identifying an HIV Virus http://www.omsj.org/blogs/hiv-tests-explained.

Respected HIV dissent agencies like Virus Myth http://virusmyth.org/ , Alberta Reappraising AIDS literature review at http://aras.ab.ca/top10.html   , Rethinking AIDS http://www.rethinkingaids.com/   The Office of Medical and Scientific Justice http://www.omsj.org/ , The Perth Group http://www.theperthgroup.com/ , and any organization(s) that has respectably and effectively challenged the HIV/AIDS hypothesis for over 30 years.  Many medical doctors, persons with PH.D.s and other educated scholars have published books.   Authors and scientists like Dr. Henry Bauer  http://www.jpands.org/vol12no4/bauer.pdf  , Dr. Nancy Turner-Banks, M.D.,

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and others.  President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, Celia Farber, Christine Johnson, Dr. David Rasnik, Peter Deusberg, Kary Mullis and others’ works can be explored.  Knowledge of their perspectives can reduce HS, deception and misunderstanding of the truth about HIV http://www.virusmyth.com/aids/books.htm.

Among the more popular books available on topic of HIV dissent include AIDS, Opium, Diamonds and Empire:  “The Deadly Virus of International Greed”, “The AIDS War”, “AIDS, Inc.”, “Deadly Deception”, “Inventing the AIDS Virus”, “Positively False”, and “Impure Science”, and many others http://www.virusmyth.com/aids/books.htm.  The HIV/AIDS has been being questioned for over 30 years http://journal.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fpubh.2014.00154/full.

Continued contribution toward reducing HIV Stigma will be the publication of THERE IS NO HIV:  The Rainbow Warrior Exposing The Truth about HIV Antibody Testing, and The Metaphysics of Self-Healing Through Chakra and Kundalini Awareness by Dr. Damian Q. Laster, MscD, MEd.

Other sources of information are also available which clearly show how HIV Stigma is a worldwide problem.  Video documentaries that question HIV include “House of Numbers”  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwgmzbnckII, “HIV/AIDS:  Fact or Fiction” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pLUfZsKSYE , and radio interviews of credentialed and respected doctors, nutritionists, scholars and people directly impacted by an HIV+ diagnosis.  They are available on the subject of HIV from the scholarly perspective of HIV dissent by

 

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Harvard Medical School graduate, Dr. Nancy-Turner Banks http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31QwnTt0YgM

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Dear Damian,

May I ask why you have chosen the Goddess Returning group for your post? 

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We are the living BRIDGE between the worlds and dimensions, between HEAVEN AND EARTH. We are free to move in TIME and SPACE when we enter the SACRED SPACE of the Divine Chamber of the HEART  where the ThreeFold Flame resides and the god given Divine Blueprint is waiting to be downloaded into our earth bodies.

 

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One of the consequences of the continual use of the Violet Flame is the accelerated awakening of all your chakras, you will, step by step, wake up in a different world from where you live now.

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