Stigma and discrimination are barriers to the prevention and treatment of HIV, and have serious biomedical, psycho-social and socio-cultural consequences, especially for marginalised groups such as sex workers, transgender people and sexual minorities. There has been little research to date on single mothers living with HIV to situate the stigma they experience within the context of gender, class, ethnicity and other intersecting social inequalities. Drawing on participant observation and in-depth interviews with 28 single mothers living with HIV in Thailand in 2020–21, this article finds that single mothers living with HIV experience intersectional stigma based on their class, ethnicity, religious status and gender, which manifests at the self, family, community and societal levels. In response to this stigmatisation, single mothers have developed four different coping strategies: self-presentation, identity talk, self-exclusion (through distancing and selective association), and empowerment. Findings from the research indicate that an intersectional approach is needed if academics, health workers, policy makers – and even the individuals concerned – are to understand and respond effectively to the HIV-related stigma experienced by specific socio-demographic groups. Copyright © 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
CitationZhang, H. (2022). Intersectional stigma and coping strategies of single mothers living with HIV in Thailand. Culture, Health & Sexuality. Culture, Health & Sexuality. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/13691058.2022.2042393
- Intersectional stigma
- Coping strategies
- Single mothers
- PG student publication