Perceived Stigma in People Living With HIV in Qom
AbstractObjective: This study aimed to report on perceived stigma by PLWH and factors that affect it. Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out on 120 PLWH in Qom, Iran from November 2015 to April 2016. Persian version of Fife and Wright's scale was used to measure perceived stigma.Results: The mean score of stigma was 73.19 ± 12.23 (range: 48-97). The means of external stigma and internal stigma were 43.70 ± 8.61 (range: 19-60), and 29.49 ± 5.32 (range: 17-40), respectively. Living in a rural areas (β = 10.341, p = 0.006), unemployment status (β = 6.910, p = 0.006), and poor support from family members (β = 4.772, p = 0.028) significantly increased the level of perceived stigma. PLWH experience a considerable level of stigma in their daily life. Mass media involvement to increase public awareness and reduce HIV related stigma need be more highlighted.Conclusion: Working with the patients' families, interventions in the rural areas and workplaces, and providing social supports is necessary to minimize the HIV related stigma.
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