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AIDS Behav. 2013 Jun;17(5):1796-808. doi: 10.1007/s10461-013-0432-1.

Experiences of stigma, discrimination, care and support among people living with HIV: a four country study.

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  • 1Institute for Global Health, University College London, 30 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1EH, UK.


While it is widely agreed that HIV-related stigma may impede access to treatment and support, there is little evidence describing who is most likely to experience different forms of stigma and discrimination and how these affect disclosure and access to care. This study examined experiences of interpersonal discrimination, internalized stigma, and discrimination at health care facilities among HIV-positive adults aged 18 years and older utilizing health facilities in four countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (N = 536). Prevalence of interpersonal discrimination across all countries was 34.6 %, with women significantly more likely to experience interpersonal discrimination than men. Prevalences of internalized stigma varied across countries, ranging from 9.6 % (Malawi) to 45.0 % (Burkina Faso). Prevalence of health care discrimination was 10.4 % across all countries. In multiple regression analyses, we found positive, significant, and independent associations between disclosure and interpersonal discrimination and disclosure and support group utilization, and positive associations between both internalized stigma and health care discrimination and referral for medications.

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