174580 Across the Indian Ocean: Adapting and validating an HIV/AIDS-related stigma scale developed in Tanzania with youth populations in India

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Devaki Nambiar, PhD , Columbia University/New York State Psychiatric Institute, HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies, New York, NY
Paramita Dasgupta Mazumdar , Center for Media Studies, New Delhi, India
A decade ago, HIV/AIDS-related stigma was dubbed the third epidemic after HIV and AIDS. It has, in the intervening years, borne out this moniker, heavily affecting HIV prevention, care, and treatment efforts. Yet, the precise meaning and experience of stigma appears to vary in different cultural settings. A survey based on indicators from research in Tanzania was administered to Indians aged 18-25 randomly sampled from across the national capital (N=430) and snowball sampled from HIV/AIDS organizations (N=145), supplemented by informal qualitative interviews with a sub-sample of respondents (N=5). Exploratory and qualitative analyses reveal that for HIV involved youth, the notions of punishment and blame for HIV infection are steeped in Hindu notions of karma- unique to respondents on the eastern side of the Indian Ocean. Psychometric (factor) analysis of the administered scale reveals a different set of properties of HIV/AIDS-related stigma in India as compared to Tanzanian respondents. Fear of contagion and shame/blame appear to be fairly ubiquitous elements of stigma while disclosure and enacted stigma (discrimination) are less prominent in the Indian context. Friendship with and caring for People Living with HIV/AIDS instead emerge as salient factors within HIV/AIDS-related stigma among young Indians involved with NGO programming and equal treatment of PLWHA emerges in the general youth population. Findings speak to important nuances in the local administration of a global stigma scale and the ways in which such findings can be used to customize interventions for HIV/AIDS-related stigma reduction efforts with youth sub-populations internationally.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the levels, characteristics and correlates of HIV/AIDS related stigma among Indian youth involved with HIV programming as well as those in the general population 2. Compare the psychometric properties of HIV/AIDS related stigma in Indian and Tanzanian populations

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Public Health Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the Principal Investigator and recipient of funds (Fulbright Scholarship to India) for the research
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.