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Community environment and HIV/AIDS-related stigma in China

Jiajian Chen, PhD1, Minja K. Choe, PhD2, Shengli Chen, MD3, and Shikun Zhang, MD3. (1) Research Program, Population and Health Studies, East-West Center, 1601 East-West Road, Honolulu, HI 96848-1601, 808-944-7426, chenj@eastwestcenter.org, (2) Population and Health Studies, East-West Center, 1601 East-West Road, Honolulu, HI 96848, (3) Information, Education & Communication Department, The State Family Planning Commission, 14 Zhichun Road, Haidian District, Beijing, 100088, China

Background: It is hypothesized that stigma, a major obstacle to effective HIV/AIDS prevention and care, is linked not only to individual misconception of HIV/AIDS, but also to social environments. Objective: This study aims to examine the effects of individual and community characteristics on individual stigmatizing attitude towards people with HIV/AIDS in China. Data and methods: Multilevel logistic regression models were used to analyze data on 5,658 respondents of about 70 communities (villages/neighborhoods) who were 15-49 years of age and participated in the Baseline IEC Survey for HIV/AIDS Prevention in China conducted by the State Family Planning Commission in 2000. The outcome variable refers to any stigmatizing attitude towards people with HIV/AIDS, such as detest, blame and/or avoidance of contact. Factors selected as potential explanatory variables of AIDS-related stigma included age, sex, marital status, ethnic minority status, levels of education and media exposure, knowledge about HIV/AIDS transmission and prevention, place of residence, community-levels of HIV/AIDS-related risk behaviors and availability of tap water. Findings: HIV/AIDS-related stigma is higher not only among individuals with misconception about casual contact for HIV transmission and lower level of education and media exposure, but also among those who live in an environment of high HIV-related risk behaviors or poor supply for tap water at community-level. Conclusion: HIV prevention and control programs need to pay special attention to societal and community influences on stigma, especially in the areas where there are increased risk behaviors and poor tap water supply.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Community, Patient Perspective

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: Population and Family Planning Commission
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

International Perspective: HIV/AIDS Around the Globe

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA