27 Jul 2011

New report suggests women stigmatised over HIV more harshly than men

2:21 pm on 27 July 2011

A new report suggests that women experience stigma over contracting HIV more harshly than men.

The report, by the Pacific Islands Aids Foundation, looks at the experience of women living with HIV in Fiji and Papua New Guinea.

The report's author, Hilary Gorman, says there are certain expectations women must meet.

"So when women fail to meet those expectations, then often they're punished in ways that men wouldn't be. There's also a tendency to blame women, even if it's men who bring HIV into the relationship, often the women are still blamed. And at the same time a lot of hte women suffer from self-stigma, which is where they tend to balme themselves, they tend to have really low self-worth."

Hilary Gorman says the report found there needs to be more support services for women suffering from HIV that takes this into account.