Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Can AIDS stigma be reduced to poverty stigma? Exploring Zimbabwean children's representations of poverty and AIDS

Campbell, Catherine, Skovdal, Morten, Mupambireyi, Z., Madanhire, C., Robertson, L., Nyamukapa, C. A. and Gregson, S. (2012) Can AIDS stigma be reduced to poverty stigma? Exploring Zimbabwean children's representations of poverty and AIDS. Child: Care, Health and Development, 38 (5). pp. 732-742. ISSN 0305-1862

PDF - Published Version
Download (2MB) | Preview

Identification Number: 10.1111/j.1365-2214.2011.01311.x


Objective We use children's drawings to investigate social stigmatization of AIDS-affected and poverty-affected children by their peers, in the light of suggestions that the stigmatization of AIDS-affected children might derive more from the poverty experienced by these children than from their association with AIDS. Methods A qualitative study, in rural Zimbabwe, used draw-and-write techniques to elicit children's (10–12 years) representations of AIDS-affected children (n= 30) and poverty-affected children (n= 33) in 2009 and 2010 respectively. Results Representations of children affected by AIDS and by poverty differed significantly. The main problems facing AIDS-affected children were said to be the psychosocial humiliations of AIDS stigma and children's distress about sick relatives. Contrastingly, poverty-affected children were depicted as suffering from physical and material neglect and deprivation. Children affected by AIDS were described as caregivers of parents whom illness prevented from working. This translated into admiration and respect for children's active contribution to household survival. Poverty-affected children were often portrayed as more passive victims of their guardians' inability or unwillingness to work or to prioritize their children's needs, with these children having fewer opportunities to exercise agency in response to their plight. Conclusions The nature of children's stigmatization of their AIDS-affected peers may often be quite distinct from poverty stigma, in relation to the nature of suffering (primarily psychosocial and material respectively), the opportunities for agency offered by each affliction, and the opportunities each condition offers for affected children to earn the respect of their peers and community. We conclude that the particular nature of AIDS stigma offers greater opportunities for stigma reduction than poverty stigma.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Divisions: LSE Health
Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2012 13:20
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 01:27

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics