The mutilant nature of the mucosal form of leishmaniasis can cause alterations in personal relations. To identify the level of understanding of leishmaniasis and the psychological reaction to it patients and houseowners in an endemic area of Bahia were interviewed. Several false beliefs were identified and there was a strong tendency to reject mutilated patients among the population for a false fear of contagion. Possibily future clarification of the real nature of leishmaniasis could change such a negative attitude among the resident population.
Tegumentary leishmaniasis; Social attitude; Fear of contagion