Gender Differences in Stigma and Community Support Among People Living with HIV/AIDS in Thailand

  • Fumihiko Yokota
  • Mark J. VanLandingham


This study compares the levels of both stigma and community support as perceived and experienced by Thai men and women living with HIV/AIDS and investigates individual factors, which can explain the gender differences in stigma and community support in Thailand. Data were collected from 412 members of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) support organizations in Bangkok and Northern Thai provinces in 2000. An assisted, self-administered survey instrument was used. The proportion of respondents who reported perceived stigma from people in their communities was significantly higher among male PLWHAs (46 %) than females PLWHAs (34 %). Male PLWHAs were significantly less likely than female PLWHAs to perceive community support (58 % vs. 73 %) and also to experience community support (15 % vs. 26 %). The multivariate analyses presented here indicate that much of the male disadvantage with regard to HIV-related social stigma and community support in Thailand appears largely due to differences between men and women in the sample; several of these differences are also found in the population of male and female PLWHAs throughout Thailand. These differences include the following: (1) Male PLWHAs had on average more visible AIDS symptoms than females, a factor associated not only with more advanced illness but also increased stigma and less community support; (2) male PLWHAs were less likely than females to be widowed, a factor strongly associated with increased community sympathy and support; and (3) male PLWHAs in our sample were more likely than females to reside in Bangkok, which has more hostile community responses toward PLWHAs than Northern Thai provinces.


Community Support Female Respondent Northern Province Unadjusted Association Community Reaction 
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This article is part of a larger study of the impacts of the AIDS epidemic in Thailand and was supported by grants AG18648 and AG15983 from the National Institutes of Aging. Helpful comments on an earlier draft by Dominique Meekers, Carl Kendall, Paul Hutchinson, and Janet Rice are gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) Indonesia Office, Monitoring & Evaluation and Operational Research UnitJakarta PusatIndonesia
  2. 2.Thomas C. Keller Professor, Department of Global Health Systems and Development, School of Public Health and Tropical MedicineTulane UniversityNew OrleansUSA

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