Online Program

Extending a 20-item HIV stigma scale suite among at-risk youths in South Africa: An examination of reliability and validity

Monday, November 2, 2015

Su-I. Hou, DrPH, CPH, MCHES, RN, Health Management & Informatics, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL
Gwynn Powell, PhD, Clemson University, Clemson, SC
Purpose: This study extended a validated scale suite on HIV perceived stigma, discrimination, and disclosure concerns, originally developed and tested among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) and young adults in the U.S., to at risk youths in South Africa. METHODS: Hou’s previously validated 20-item HIV-stigma scale with items measuring perceived stigma towards PLWHA (7-item), discrimination (5-item), and disclosure concerns (8-item) was used.  Measurement items were examined by researchers and local HIV practitioners to ensure content validity and cultural relevancy.  At-risk youths from a camp-based HIV prevention program participated in the study.   RESULTS: A total of 385 youths participated (age ranged 10-24 years; 55% females).  Data showed satisfactory internal consistencies on all three sub-scales, with Cronbach alphas of .826, .804, and .700 (CITC ranged .300~.666) for the perceived stigma, discrimination, and disclosure concerns, respectively.  Overall perceived stigma towards PLWHA were higher among youths in South Africa compared with the original pilot-tested U.S. sample of young adults (scale means: 14.16 vs. 9.94).  Perceived discrimination was the highest in the U.S. sample of PLWHA, followed by youths in South Africa, and lowest in the U.S. young adult sample (scale means: 14.53, 8.07, and 5.54, respectively).  On the other hand, disclosure concerns were lowest among South Africa youths compared with the U.S. samples of PLWHA and young adults (scale means: 19.77, 24.82, and 25.27, respectively).  CONCLUSIONS: Results indicate all sub-scales demonstrated satisfactory validities and reliabilities among at-risk youths in South Africa.  This validated measurement tool provides new opportunities for researchers and practitioners to assess and compare HIV related stigma for program planning and evaluation purposes.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe sample scale items of Hou’s HIV-Stigma scale suite measuring perceived stigma towards PLWHA, discrimination, and disclosure concerns. Describe the validation results of Hou’s HIV-Stigma scale suite among youths in South Africa, and compare levels of HIV-stigma among the original pilot-tested U.S. samples with the study South Africa sample. Discuss implications and application of this new validated measurement tool on HIV program planning and evaluation.

Keyword(s): HIV/AIDS, Youth

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I'm the co-PI and evaluation consultant of this project.
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.

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