Prevalence and factors associated with HIV/AIDS-related stigma and discriminatory attitudes: a cross-sectional nationwide study

Li Ping Wong
Preventive Medicine 2013, 57: S60-3

OBJECTIVE: The prime purpose of this study is to assess HIV/AIDS-related self-stigma and discrimination (S&D) attitudes and associated factors using multivariate analysis of data from the 2010-11 National Survey of Understanding the Root of HIV/AIDS Related Stigma and Discrimination.

METHOD: A national telephone survey was carried out with 2271 of the Malaysian public aged 18-60 years. The sample was contacted by random digit dialing covering the whole of Peninsular Malaysia from December 2010 to May 2011. The HIV-transmission knowledge, HIV-related self-stigma, and public stigma were investigated.

RESULTS: Despite high level of HIV-transmission knowledge [mean (SD)=10.56 (2.42), mean score at 70th percentile] the respondents in this study had moderate levels (mean scores near midpoints) of self-stigma and public stigma attitudes. HIV-transmission knowledge score was not significantly correlated with self-stigma score, but showed a significantly small positive effect (r<0.2) for public stigma scores. Ethnicity is the strongest correlate of HIV-transmission knowledge, self-stigma, and public stigma attitudes in the multivariate analyses. Other significant correlates were age, socioeconomic group, and urban-rural setting.

CONCLUSIONS: The root causes of HIV stigma and discriminatory attitudes were not associated with knowledge deficiency. Interventions should be oriented towards promoting de-stigmatization of HIV/AIDS, and tailored socio-culturally.

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