Is socio-economic status a determinant of HIV-related stigma attitudes in Zimbabwe? Findings from Project Accept

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Kudzanai Mateveke *
Basant Singh
Alfred Chingono
E. Sibanda
Ian Machingura
(*) Corresponding Author:
Kudzanai Mateveke | kmateveke@medsch.uz.ac.zw

Abstract

HIV related stigma and discrimination is a known barrier for HIV prevention and care. We aimed to assess the relationship between socio-economic status (SES) and HIV related stigma in Zimbabwe. This paper uses data from Project Accept, which examined the impact of community-based voluntary counseling and testing intervention on HIV incidence and stigma. Total of 2522 eligible participants responded to a psychometric assessment tool, which assessed HIV related stigma and discrimination attitudes on 4 point Likert scale. The tool measured three components of HIVrelated stigma: shame, blame and social isolation, perceived discrimination, and equity. Participants’ ownership of basic assets was used to assess the socio-economic status. Shame, blame and social isolation component of HIV related stigma was found to be significantly associated with medium [odds ratio (OR)=1.73, P<0.01] and low SES (OR=1.97, P<0.01), indicating more stigmatizing attitudes by participants belonging to medium and low SES in comparison to high SES. For HIV related stigma and discrimination programs to be effective, they should take into account the socio-economic context of target population.

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