Netherlands: 'Tell me your story, then I will be your voice' a PLHIV led study into HIV related stigma in the Netherlands

17 Jun 2015

The study involved 468 people with HIV as survey respondents who were interviewed by a team of peer researchers in 2014 and early 2015.

 Alexander Pastoors, Chairman of Netherlands HIV Association (HVN) sums up the study in saying: "This is a valuable and unique research that both interviewers and participants empowered. The results indicate that there is a major challenge for all those directly and indirectly involved to reduce the stigma of HIV. "

 The study population is representative of all people with HIV in the Netherlands, and a  predominantly positive picture emerges; 76% have pleasure in the things they do. 64% assess his or her physical health now as good or excellent, 17% as poor or moderate and 19% are in between. 

However the report also highlights some less positive aspects of HIV related stigm and living with HIV in the Netherlands

 For although half of those surveyed  worked and/or had an adequate income, this is not common. 31% does not have enough energy for a paid job. 23% of participants also had problems to meet their daily needs. For migrants with HIV these problems are greatest.

Fear of discrimination and exclusion does mean that  some people had decided  to conceal their HIV status, sometimes even from their partner. 

More information about the results can be found via the HIV Association website  which is in English and other languages as well as Dutch,  and the full report and a summary report can be downloaded via the links on the right.