The sars-associated stigma of SARS victims in the post-sars Era of Hong Kong

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87 Citations (Scopus)


This article explores the disease-associated stigma attached to the SARS victims in the post-SARS era of Hong Kong. I argue that the SARS-associated stigma did not decrease over time. Based on the ethnographic data obtained from 16 months of participant observation in a SARS victims' self-help group and semistructured interviews, I argue that the SARS-associated stigma was maintained, revived, and reconstructed by the biomedical encounters, government institutions, and public perception. I also provide new insight on how the SARS-associated stigma could create problems for public health development in Hong Kong. As communicable diseases will be a continuing threat for the human society, understanding how the disease-associated stigma affects the outcomes of epidemic control measures will be crucial in developing a more responsive public health policy as well as medical follow-up and social support service to the diseased social groups of future epidemic outbreaks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)729-738
Number of pages10
JournalQualitative Health Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Anthropology
  • Community and public health
  • Ethnography
  • Hong Kong
  • Interviews
  • Medical
  • Participant observation
  • SARS
  • Semistructured

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions(all)


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