The emergence of chronic sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in Africa has been nightmare to medical scientists who experience different clinical and social histories every day around these infections. Medical history show that HIV/AIDS and hepatitis B virus (HBV) are the only chronic STIs for the moment. This study narrates the life experiences of some patients who have lived with these infections above a decade. A public awareness of the trauma that HIV/AIDS and HBV infections have crown on the social lives of infected persons. A contribution of current literature on beliefs and social climate around chronic STIs in Cameroon.This qualitative study used focus group discussion (FGD), in-depth interview and participant observations to collect data from a sample of 58 persons living with HIV and HIV/HBV co-infections. An in-depth interview done with patients selected with therapeutic complications, and FGD with patients found in associations of infection persons. A content analysis and interpretation using the Social Dynamic Analysis theory of George Balandier. Infected persons with HIV/AIDS have life experiences different from those with HBV. Between the 80s and late 90s, HIV patients lived a life of shame, insult, fear, rejection and stigmatization, that caused high death including suicidal deaths.Some patients refused to seek care. Psychological traumas are current in these patients' experiences due to the loss of loved ones, broken relations and emotional pain. Ignorance about HBV and it modes of transmission makes it stigma-free. This study recommends a health system capable of integrating cultural beliefs.
Chick Loveline Ayoh Ndi, University of Yaounde 1, Cameroon
Stream: Challenging & Preserving: Culture, Inter/Multiculturalism & Language
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