, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 362-371
Date: 25 Feb 2012

AIDS-Related Stigma, HIV Testing, and Transmission Risk Among Patrons of Informal Drinking Places in Cape Town, South Africa

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Abstract

Background

AIDS-related stigma as a barrier to HIV testing has not been examined within the context of high at risk environments such as drinking venues. Of particular importance is whether AIDS-related stigma is associated with HIV transmission risks among people who have never been tested for HIV.

Purpose

We examined: (1) AIDS-related stigma as a barrier to testing, controlling for other potential barriers, and (2) whether stigma is associated with HIV risks among HIV-untested individuals.

Methods

We surveyed 2,572 individuals attending informal drinking establishments in Cape Town, South Africa to assess HIV testing status, AIDS-related stigma endorsement, and HIV transmission sexual risk behavior.

Results

Endorsement of AIDS-related stigma was negatively associated with HIV lifetime testing. In addition, stigma endorsement was associated with higher HIV transmission risks.

Conclusion

AIDS-related stigma must be addressed in HIV prevention campaigns across South Africa. Antistigma messages should be integrated with risk reduction counseling and testing.