HIV-Related discrimination in European health care settings

Christiana Nöstlinger, Daniela Rojas Castro, Tom Platteau, Sonia Dias, Jean Le Gall
AIDS Patient Care and STDs 2014, 28 (3): 155-61
This cross-sectional European study assessed self-reported HIV-related discrimination and its associated factors in health care settings. Socio-demographics, health status, support needs relating to sexual and reproductive health (SRH), and self-reported HIV-related discrimination were measured using an anonymous survey in a sample of 1549 people living with HIV from 14 countries. Thirty-two per cent of the participants had experienced HIV-related discrimination during the previous 3 years; almost half of them felt discriminated against by health care providers. For this type of discrimination, logistic regression analysis revealed significant associations with not being a migrant (OR: 2.0; IC 1.0-3.7; p<0.05), having been forced into sexual activities (OR: 1.6; IC 1.2-2.2; p<0.001), reporting lack of time to discuss SRH during service provision (OR: 1.7; IC 1.0-2.7; p<0.05), and insufficient openness among service providers to discuss SRH (OR: 2.0; IC 1.1-3.4; p<0.05). Other significant associations related to unmet support needs on safer sex practices (OR: 1.8; IC 1.0-3.2; p<0.05), partner communication about sexuality (OR: 2.0; IC 1.1-3.4; p<0.05), and prevention of sexually transmitted infections (OR: 1.7; IC 1.0-3.0; p<0.05). Female gender had a protective effect (OR: 0.2; IC 0.0-0.9; p<0.05). Being denied the opportunity to discuss SRH may translate in feelings of discrimination. Improving health care providers' communication skills, and fostering openness about SRH topics in HIV care could contribute to destigmatization of PLHIV.

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