Examining stigma and coping mechanisms among adolescents living with HIV in Bundibugyo town council, Bundibugyo district.
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In this dissertation, the researcher conducted a research study about examining stigma and coping mechanisms among adolescents living with HIV in Bundibugyo town council, Bundibugyo district. The researcher conducted the study on adolescents who are clients of Bundibugyo association of women living with HIV in Bundibugyo town council, Bundibugyo district to document the current state of research, identify gaps in the available evidence and highlight promising strategies to address stigma. The dissertation contains the literature reviewed on HIV related stigma and discrimination as well as the coping mechanisms. The dissertation also contains the methods that the researcher employed in carrying out the study. The study employed a mixed method approach which focused on the human experiences. The sampling method that was used to select the sample of the study was purposive random sampling and systematic sampling. Data was collected using in-depth interviews and closed questionnaires with 73 adolescents. The study found that experiences of enacted, anticipated and internalised stigma were common in ALHIV’s daily life experiences in the community of Bundibugyo town council. To cope with the stigma, the study found out that the ALHIV used different mechanisms to cope with stigma and they include; treatment optimism, secrecy, avoidance and distraction, social support and spirituality. These coping mechanisms were consistent with the stress and coping literature to the extent that they can be categorised as problem focussed strategies.