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AIDS Behav. 2013 Jun;17(5):1785-95. doi: 10.1007/s10461-013-0437-9.

HIV stigma mechanisms and well-being among PLWH: a test of the HIV stigma framework.

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School of Public Health and the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS, Yale University, 135 College Street, Suite 200, New Haven, CT 06510, USA.


The current work evaluates the HIV Stigma Framework in a sample of 95 people living with HIV recruited from an inner-city clinic in the Bronx, NY. To determine the contributions of each HIV stigma mechanism (internalized, enacted, and anticipated) on indicators of health and well-being, we conducted an interviewer-delivered survey and abstracted data from medical records. Results suggest that internalized stigma associates significantly with indicators of affective (i.e., helplessness regarding, acceptance of, and perceived benefits of HIV) and behavioral (i.e., days in medical care gaps and ARV non-adherence) health and well-being. Enacted and anticipated stigma associate with indicators of physical health and well-being (i.e., CD4 count less than 200 and chronic illness comorbidity respectively). By differentiating between HIV stigma mechanisms, researchers may gain a more nuanced understanding of how HIV stigma impacts health and well-being and better inform targeted interventions to improve specific outcomes among people living with HIV.

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