Background: It’s known that people living with HIV (PLWH) are subjected to stigmatization and discrimination while accessing healthcare services. The purpose of this study is to understand the perceptions of PLWH in Turkey, about whom there are limited data on how their lives are affected by such experiences.
Methods: Semi-structured interviews were carried out with 20 people, and the obtained data were analyzed thematically.
Results: The results highlighted the following themes: problems with patients’ autonomy, failure to protect patients’ confidentiality and personal health data, spouse/partner notification issues, and stigmatizing and discriminatory attitudes intrinsic to healthcare professionals’ approach. The attitudes of healthcare professionals and health institutions negatively influence the utilization of healthcare services by PLWH.
Conclusions: We have argued the necessity to raise the healthcare professionals’ and the society’s knowledge and awareness, and develop national policies that would contribute to structure partner notification services and prevent HIV-related discrimination and stigmata.