AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 145–154

Multiple Dimensions of HIV Stigma and Psychological Distress Among Asians and Pacific Islanders Living With HIV Illness

  • Ezer Kang
  • Bruce D. Rapkin
  • Robert H. Remien
  • Claude Ann Mellins
  • Alina Oh


Asians and Pacific Islanders (APIs) living with HIV/AIDS in the US are particularly vulnerable to HIV-related stigma largely due to ingrained socio-cultural norms that strongly associate HIV transmission with activities perceived to be immoral. This cross-sectional study examined the relationship between five HIV-stigma factors and psychological distress among 54 HIV-seropositive APIs. Social Rejection, Negative Self-Worth, Perceived Interpersonal Insecurity, and Financial Security were all significantly associated with psychological distress. Results from hierarchical multiple regression analyses indicated that Social Rejection, Negative Self-Worth, and Perceived Interpersonal Insecurity significantly predicted psychological distress after control for physical symptoms and country of birth. Undocumented Asians endorsed higher levels of Social Rejection, Negative Self-Worth and Perceived Interpersonal Insecurity than documented APIs. Future studies examining mechanisms of psychological distress among HIV-seropositive APIs are needed.

Key words

stigma Asians Pacific Islanders HIV/AIDS 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ezer Kang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
  • Bruce D. Rapkin
    • 3
  • Robert H. Remien
    • 1
  • Claude Ann Mellins
    • 1
    • 2
  • Alina Oh
    • 4
  1. 1.HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral StudiesNew York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia UniversityNew York
  2. 2.Department of Pediatric PsychiatryColumbia-Presbyterian Center of New York Presbyterian HospitalNew York
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral ScienceMemorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer CenterNew York
  4. 4.Department of Professional Psychology and Family TherapySeton Hall UniversityNew York
  5. 5.Research ScientistHIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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