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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 149-153

Social stigma and associated factors among COVID-19 survivors at a tertiary care centre from Visakhapatnam

1 Department of Community Medicine, Gayatri Vidya Parishad Institute of Health Care and Medical Technology, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Mamata Academy of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Correspondence Address:
Pidakala Mary Moses
Plot No: 84, Vasanth Nagar 4th Lane, KPHB, Hyderabad - 500 085, Telangana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mjhs.mjhs_51_22

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Background: From the early days of the HIV epidemic to the current COVID-19 crisis, a major challenge around infectious diseases has been dealing with the deep-seated stigma around affected populations. There is a paucity of literature on the prevalence of social stigma among patients who survived after COVID-19 infection in India. Objective: The objective is to estimate the prevalence of social stigma and its associated factors among COVID-19 survivors. Methodology: It was a cross-sectional study conducted among 150 COVID-19 survivors with predesigned questionnaire using a simple random sampling technique in a tertiary care center from October to November 2020. Social stigma was measured for different socio-demographic parameters and compared. Results: Of 150 study subjects, 29.3% of them faced social discrimination. Majority of them were discriminated by neighbors (75%) and even by their family members and 11.4% not allowed them into community/village. 50% had fear of infecting others and 55.3% of them blamed themselves for getting COVID-19 infection. 18% had faced social devaluation by others. 23.3% lost their job due to COVID-19 and 40.7% had economic loss. Conclusion: COVID-19-related stigma was widespread among participants. Social discrimination was more with increased age, female gender, among educated people, in joint families, among married individuals, in upper social class and those who had a long hospital stay; however, it was not significantly associated statistically.

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