HIV-related stigma, isolation, discrimination, and serostatus disclosure: A global survey of 2035 HIV-infected adults
Background: Little is known globally about the perspectives of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) on perceived HIV-related stigma and its consequences. Methods: Cross-sectional study (January-March 2010) of perceived HIV-related stigma among PLWHA (N = 2035) using a standardized questionnaire. Findings: Thirty-seven percent of respondents reported loneliness as a result of their HIV status. Depression was reported by 27%. While 96% reported disclosing their HIV status to at least 1 person, 17% of patients who reported being in a long-term sexual relationship had not disclosed their status to their partner. Variables associated with perceived stigma were living in Asia-Pacific versus other regions (odds ratio [OR]: 2.77; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.96-3.92); having experienced body/face changes; reported depression (OR: 1.25; 95% CI 1.11-1.38); and nondisclosure of HIV status (OR: 1.75; 95% CI 1.28-2.41). Conclusion: Thirty years into the HIV pandemic, perceived HIV stigma, isolation, and discrimination persist and are associated with loneliness and depression among PLWHA. © 2012 The Author(s).