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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Does personal knowledge of a person who died of or has HIV/AIDS influence an individual's attitudes towards people living with HIV (PLHIV)?

Elaine Yuan, MHS1, Charles Katende, PhD1, Laura Nyblade, PhD2, Gideon Kwesigabo, PhD3, Jessie Mbwambo, MD3, Fausta Phillip, MD3, and Kerry MacQuarrie2. (1) Global Health and Development Strategies Division, Social & Scientific Systems, Inc., 8757 Georgia Avenue, 12th Floor, Silver Spring, MD 20910, 301-628-1560, eyuan@s-3.com, (2) International Center for Research on Women, 1717 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Suite 302, Washington, DC 20036, (3) Department of Psychiatry, Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences, P O Box 65015, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

BACKGROUND: Stigma and discrimination towards PLHIV directly or indirectly affects use of HIV/AIDS care, prevention and treatment services. Therefore, programs need to address the challenge of reducing HIV/AIDS stigma and discrimination in order to, among other benefits, increase use of HIV/AIDS available services. In this regard, stigma reduction programs are emerging, but their success would be hampered by lack of evidence on the determinants of HIV/AIDS stigma and discrimination. More work on determinants of stigma and discrimination is necessary. METHODS: A population-based survey was conducted in a peri-urban community in Dar es Salam, Tanzania to measure HIV/AIDS stigma and discrimination. The survey questionnaire included four HIV/AIDS stigma domains: Fear of casual transmission, values, enacted stigma and disclosure, and individual background characteristics. Responses were analyzed to examine factors associated with attitudes toward PLHIV. RESULTS: 978 out of 1196 eligible respondents (53% male; 61% married; Mean age=34) were interviewed. More than half (64%) of the participants personally knew someone who died of AIDS or PLHIV in their community. Half of respondents agreed that HIV/AIDS was shameful; 60% agreed on blaming to PLHIV. After controlling for knowledge of HIV/AIDS, social, and demographic characteristics, personal knowledge of person who dies of AIDS or PLHIV was significantly associated with disagreement to stigmatizing statements (p< .05). CONCLUSIONS: Personal knowledge of someone affected by HIV/AIDS is associated with positive attitudes towards PLHIV, suggesting that exposure to PLHIV contributes to positive attitudes towards PLHIV. This conclusion supports strategies to promote greater community exposure to, and interaction with PLHIV.

Learning Objectives:

  • By the end of my presentation, the participants will be able to

    Keywords: HIV/AIDS,

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:

    Any relevant financial relationships? No

    [ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

    Prevention and Service to Individuals at Risk for or Living with HIV/AIDS

    The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA