Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 362–371 | Cite as

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

  • Eileen V. Pitpitan
  • Seth C. Kalichman
  • Lisa A. Eaton
  • Demetria Cain
  • Kathleen J. Sikkema
  • Donald Skinner
  • Melissa H. Watt
  • Desiree Pieterse
Original Article



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.


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.


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.


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


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


HIV/AIDS-related stigma HIV testing HIV risk behavior Alcohol Substance use 


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Copyright information

© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eileen V. Pitpitan
    • 1
    • 4
  • Seth C. Kalichman
    • 1
  • Lisa A. Eaton
    • 1
  • Demetria Cain
    • 1
  • Kathleen J. Sikkema
    • 2
  • Donald Skinner
    • 3
  • Melissa H. Watt
    • 2
  • Desiree Pieterse
    • 3
  1. 1.University of ConnecticutStorrsUSA
  2. 2.Duke UniversityDurhamUSA
  3. 3.Stellenbosch UniversityCape TownSouth Africa
  4. 4.Center for Health, Intervention and PreventionUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA

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