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Stigmatization of AIDS Patients: Disentangling Thai Nursing Students’ Attitudes Towards HIV/AIDS, Drug Use, and Commercial Sex

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Abstract

This paper analyzes the interrelationships between the stigma of HIV/AIDS stigma and the co-stigmas of commercial sex (CS) and injecting drug use (IDU). Students of a Bangkok nursing college (N = 144) were presented with vignettes describing a person varying in the disease diagnoses (AIDS, leukemia, no disease) and co-characteristics (IDU, CS, blood transfusion, no co-characteristic). For each vignette, participants completed a social distance measure assessing their attitudes towards the hypothetical person portrayed. Multivariate analyses showed strong interactions between the stigmas of AIDS and IDU but not between AIDS and CS. Although AIDS was shown to be stigmatizing in and of itself, it was significantly less stigmatizing than IDU. The findings highlight the need to consider the non-disease-related stigmas associated with HIV as well as the actual stigma of HIV/AIDS in treatment and care settings. Methodological strengths and limitations were evaluated and implications for future research discussed.

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Acknowledgment

We would like to thank Arattha Rangpueng (Ministry of Public Health, Thailand) for her help and assistance. We would also like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their invaluable comments.

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Correspondence to Kit Yee Chan.

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The scales used in this study can be made available to the reader upon request.

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Chan, K.Y., Stoové, M.A., Sringernyuang, L. et al. Stigmatization of AIDS Patients: Disentangling Thai Nursing Students’ Attitudes Towards HIV/AIDS, Drug Use, and Commercial Sex. AIDS Behav 12, 146–157 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-007-9222-y

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-007-9222-y

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