AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 244–254 | Cite as

HIV-Related Stigma among People with HIV and their Families: A Qualitative Analysis

  • Laura M. Bogart
  • Burton O. Cowgill
  • David Kennedy
  • Gery Ryan
  • Debra A. Murphy
  • Jacinta Elijah
  • Mark A. Schuster
Original Paper


We examined the interconnectedness of stigma experiences in families living with HIV, from the perspective of multiple family members. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 33 families (33 parents with HIV, 27 children under age 18, 19 adult children, and 15 caregivers). Parents were drawn from the HIV Cost and Services Utilization Study, a representative sample of people in care for HIV in US. All of the families recounted experiences with stigma, including 100% of mothers, 88% of fathers, 52% of children, 79% of adult children, and 60% of caregivers. About 97% of families described discrimination fears, 79% of families experienced actual discrimination, and 10% of uninfected family members experienced stigma from association with the parent with HIV. Interpersonal discrimination seemed to stem from fears of contagion. Findings indicate a need for interventions to reduce HIV stigma in the general public and to help families cope with stigma.


HIV/AIDS Stigma Discrimination Family 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura M. Bogart
    • 1
  • Burton O. Cowgill
    • 2
    • 3
  • David Kennedy
    • 1
  • Gery Ryan
    • 1
  • Debra A. Murphy
    • 4
  • Jacinta Elijah
    • 2
  • Mark A. Schuster
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.RAND CorporationSanta MonicaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pediatrics, Mattel Children’s Hospital, David Geffen School of MedicineUniversity of California at Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Department of Health Services, School of Public HealthUniversity of California at Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of California at Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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