The Relationship of HIV-related Stigma and Health Care Outcomes in the US Deep South.
HIV-related stigma is prevalent in the US Deep South; however, information regarding the types of stigma and their effects on HIV-related outcomes is limited. This study examined the prevalence of different forms of stigma and the association of stigma with medication and medical visit adherence in the Deep South. Survey participants included 201 individuals living with HIV recruited from Infectious Diseases Clinics (ID) and AIDS Service Organizations (ASOs) in four Deep South states. Study participants reported high levels of experienced, perceived, and internalized stigma. Multivariable analysis revealed that internalized stigma and recent stigmatizing experiences were significantly associated with poorer HIV medication adherence. Internalized stigma was also associated with having missed an HIV medical care visit in the last 6 months. These findings suggest the need to identify and develop effective interventions to address internalized HIV-related stigma and to address community HIV stigma to improve outcomes for individuals living with HIV.
Reif, S; Wilson, E; McAllaster, C; Pence, B
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