Academic journal article International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health

HIV Stigma Is Linked to Lack of HIV-Related Knowledge

Academic journal article International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health

HIV Stigma Is Linked to Lack of HIV-Related Knowledge

Article excerpt

HIV-related stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV are associated with lack of knowledge of antiretroviral medications and never having discussed HIV. (1) According to a 2005-2006 study of 14,203 people aged 18-32 in five sites in four countries (Soweto, South Africa; Vulindlela, South Africa; Kisarawe, Tanzania; Chiang Mai, Thailand; and Mutoko, Zimbabwe), one-third reported having ever been tested for HIV (ranging from 9% in Zimbabwe to 49% in Soweto), about half (53%) had heard of antiretroviral medications (ranging from 28% in Zimbabwe to 76% in Soweto) and two-thirds (69%) had ever discussed HIV/AIDS (ranging from 51% in Tanzania to 89% in Soweto). In all five sites, respondents who had never talked about HIV/AIDS were more likely than others to believe that people living with HIV should be ashamed and isolated (odds ratios, 1.5-2.3); having no knowledge of antiretroviral medications was positively associated with such negative attitudes in all sites except Soweto (1.5-3.3), and never having been tested for HIV was positively associated with negative attitudes in Thailand (1.7). Lack of knowledge of antiretroviral medications was positively associated with perceived discrimination against people living with HIV in Thailand (4. …

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