Relationship between expressed HIV/AIDS-related stigma and HIV-beliefs/knowledge and behaviour in families of HIV infected children in Kenya

Mary Hamra, Michael W. Ross, Mark Orrs, Angelo D'Agostino

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To quantify expressed stigma in clients of the Kangemi program for HIV+ children, and to characterize the association between stigma and other population characteristics. METHODS: By means of a household survey we created a stigma index and indices for other social and knowledge domains that influence HIV-related healthcare. We used χ2, anova, and correlation to identify associations between domains. RESULTS: The mean (±SD) expressed stigma on a six points scale (6 = least stigma) was 3.65 ± 1.64. Composite scores on knowledge about AIDS were skewed toward more knowledge; and analysis of individual knowledge items indicates that most respondents reject erroneous traditional beliefs and myths about the causes and transmission routes of AIDS. Respondents who were younger, had never married, and had less education expressed greater stigma. Differences in stigma were associated with poor knowledge about AIDS and negative attitudes toward testing, but not with gender or tribal affiliation. Condom use at last intercourse, unrelated to stigma, was only 40% (n = 218). CONCLUSIONS: While this population has good knowledge about AIDS and appraises risks realistically, it fails to reduce these risks. Associations between stigma and other domains can inform interventions that improve HIV care and mitigate spread of HIV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)513-527
Number of pages15
JournalTropical Medicine and International Health
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2006

Keywords

  • AIDS knowledge
  • Africa
  • HIV+ orphans
  • HIV/AIDS outreach programs
  • HIV/AIDS stigma

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