Table 2: Coding of text data and development of themes.

TextCodesBasic themes Organising themes Global themes

Sometimes it is not the disease that kills…it is the bad words and remarks from people. One day I heard one person telling a patient who was on ART that she was “key to mortuary” because he believed that, once you are on ART you are about to die.(i) Gossip
(ii) Bad words
(i) Name calling against PLHIVVerbal stigma Forms of stigma against people on ART
I was scared because I was worried about the response of my partner and other people close to me. I was concerned that they would want to know how I got infected. So I asked myself how will my husband regard me? Will he understand me? how will he judge me? But I believe I got infected with HIV when I had a blood transfusion. I have never been a prostitute.(i) Worry
(ii) Fear of how they contacted HIV
Concern about perception by significant othersSocial stigma
I did not take my medication on two occasions when relatives and neighbours were in my house and have never disclosed my status to them. I did not get time to take out medicine from my drawer. I frequently face this problem of trying to hide my medicine from others because I am living in a rented single room and I feared if they see my ARVs they will tell others I am infected.(i) Judgement
(ii) Feeling too insecure to take medicine openly
(iii) Fear of disclosing status
(iv) Fear of being seen taking ART
(v) Hiding medicine
(vi) Fear of telling others about infection
Afraid of being stigmatisedPerceived stigma

One of my neighbours told my son to give the medicines to her and she went to the pharmacy to confirm if they were truly ARVs or not. After confirming, she brought them back to my son and from that day our friendship changed, because at first we used to cook and eat together but nowdays [sic] she is no longer interested in sharing anything with me. (i) Change in relationship
(ii) Isolation (including physical and social exclusion)
(i) Fear of being morally judged for being HIV positive and the fact that one is on ARTRelational discrimination Dimensions of discrimination experience among people on ART
I was told I have HIV and I had to start treatment. I told my husband, but suddenly he left and came back after a week and divorced me. He told me to go to my relatives so that they can take care of me when I fall sick because he blamed me as the source of the problem.(i) Blame
(ii) Harassment
(iii) Desertion
Blame and rejection of the spouseSpousal discrimination

I have not taken my medication at the right time on two occasions because relatives and neighbours were in my house and I didn’t disclose my status to them.(i) Not taking pills at the right time
(ii) Concealment
(i) Open taking of ARVs equated to disclosure of HIV+ status which is unwanted
(ii) Concealment of HIV status robs PLHIV of freedom to take ARVs in the presence of family members or workmates, thereby delaying ingesting the drugs
(i) Stigma reinforces concealment of HIV status
(ii) Lack of freedom to take ARVs
HIV-related stigma and discrimination compel PLHIV not to adhere to antiretroviral therapy
I am living in Morogoro but I usually refill my ART here at Mnazi Mmoja CTC. So, sometimes my ART might be finished but I don’t have the bus fare to come to refill in Dar es Salaam.(i) Lack of bus fare
(ii) Failure to refill ARVs
Avoidance of CTCs within the district of residence for fear of raising suspicion over HIV+ status to relatives, neighbours, and friendsFailure to disclose for fear of being discriminated against

I pray to God everytime [sic] I take my medicine and I believe one day Jesus Christ will cure me.(i) Religious beliefRole of spiritual healingSpiritual devotion Coping strategies adopted to deal with HIV/AIDS stigma and discrimination
My concience [sic] has agreed to the problem so I regard it asjust [sic] any other common disease.(i) Spiritual healing
We discuss with my fellow patients different HIV issues and give comfort to each other. We meet weekly in our support group. Also, my wife comforts me. She is a hospital employee so she knows these things well.(i) HIV is like any other disease
(ii) Psychosocial support
HIV/AIDS perceived as not a serious threatAcceptance of the illness
…I didn’t tell. And my close relatives, I fear they would tell others and let the information spread and it could result in discrimination.(i) Comfort
(ii) Relatives tell others about HIV status
Social support groups serve as forum for learning and exchange of informationRole of social capital