AIDS-related stigma, hiv testing, and transmission risk among patrons of informal drinking places in cape town, South Africa
Background 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. Purpose 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 HIVuntested individuals. Methods 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. Results Endorsement of AIDS-related stigma was negatively associated with HIV lifetime testing. In addition, stigma endorsement was associated with higher HIV transmission risks. Conclusion AIDS-related stigma must be addressed in HIV prevention campaigns across South Africa. Antistigma messages should be integrated with risk reduction counseling and testing. © The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2012.