AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 10, Issue 5, pp 473–482

Impact of HIV-Related Stigma on Health Behaviors and Psychological Adjustment Among HIV-Positive Men and Women

Authors

    • Department of Psychology and Center for Health and BehaviorSyracuse University
    • Department of Psychology and Center for Health and Behavior, 430 Huntington HallSyracuse University
  • Michael P. Carey
    • Department of Psychology and Center for Health and BehaviorSyracuse University
  • Donald C. Blair
    • Department of MedicineSUNY Upstate Medical University
  • Rae A. Littlewood
    • Department of Psychology and Center for Health and BehaviorSyracuse University
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10461-006-9099-1

Cite this article as:
Vanable, P.A., Carey, M.P., Blair, D.C. et al. AIDS Behav (2006) 10: 473. doi:10.1007/s10461-006-9099-1

HIV-related stigmatization remains a potent stressor for HIV-positive people. This study examined the relationships among stigma-related experiences and depression, medication adherence, serostatus disclosure, and sexual risk among 221 HIV-positive men and women. In bivariate analyses that controlled for background characteristics, stigma was associated with depressive symptoms, receiving recent psychiatric care, and greater HIV-related symptoms. Stigma was also associated with poorer adherence and more frequent serostatus disclosure to people other than sexual partners, but showed no association to sexual risk behavior. In a multivariate analysis that controlled for all correlates, depression, poor adherence, and serostatus disclosure remained as independent correlates of stigma-related experiences. Findings confirm that stigma is associated with psychological adjustment and adherence difficulties and is experienced more commonly among people who disclose their HIV status to a broad range of social contacts. Stigma should be addressed in stress management, health promotion, and medication adherence interventions for HIV-positive people.

KEY WORDS:

Stigma HIV sexual behavior adherence depression disclosure

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006