HIV-Related Stigma Among Healthcare Providers in the Deep South


Stigma towards people living with HIV (PLWH) in healthcare settings is a barrier to optimal treatment. However, our understanding of attitudes towards PLWH from healthcare providers’ perspective in the United States is limited and out-of-date. We assessed HIV-related stigma among healthcare staff in Alabama and Mississippi, using online questionnaires. Participants included 651 health workers (60 % White race; 83 % female). Multivariate regression suggests that several factors independently predict stigmatizing attitudes: Protestant compared to other religions (β = 0.129, p ≤ 0.05), White race compared to other races (β = 0.162, p ≤ 0.001), type of clinic (HIV/STI clinic: β = 0.112, p ≤ 0.01), availability of post-exposure prophylaxis (yes: β = −0.107, p ≤ 0.05), and perceptions of policy enforcement (policies not enforced: β = 0.058, p = p ≤ 0.05). These findings may assist providers wishing to improve the quality care for PLWH. Enforcement of policies prohibiting discrimination may be a useful strategy for reducing HIV-related stigma among healthcare workers.

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This research was supported by the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Center For AIDS Research CFAR, an NIH funded program (P30 AI027767) that was made possible by the following institutes: NIAID, NCI, NICHD, NHLBI, NIDA,NIA, NIDDK, NIGMS, and OAR, as well as by the UAB School of Public Health, and the Alabama Public Health Training Center (AL PHTC; UB6HP22824). Kristi Stringer is supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number F31DA037106. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

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Correspondence to Kristi L. Stringer.

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Stringer, K.L., Turan, B., McCormick, L. et al. HIV-Related Stigma Among Healthcare Providers in the Deep South. AIDS Behav 20, 115–125 (2016).

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  • Healthcare workers
  • Stigma
  • United States