Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Feelings Of Stigmatization May Discourage HIV Patients From Proper Care

Date:
October 22, 2009
Source:
University of California - Los Angeles
Summary:
New research suggests that a large number of HIV-positive individuals who reported feeling stigmatized also reported poor access to care or suboptimal adherence to antiretroviral therapy. Individuals who experienced high levels of internalized stigma were four times as likely as those who didn't to report poor access to medical care; they were three times as likely to report suboptimal adherence to HIV medications.

The feeling of stigmatization that people living with HIV often experience doesn't only exact a psychological toll -- new UCLA research suggests it can also lead to quantifiably negative health outcomes.

Related Articles


In a study published in the October issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine, researchers from the division of general internal medicine and health services research at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA found that a large number of HIV-positive individuals who reported feeling stigmatized also reported poor access to care or suboptimal adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART).

In fact, individuals who experienced high levels of internalized stigma were four times as likely as those who didn't to report poor access to medical care; they were three times as likely to report suboptimal adherence to HIV medications.

These findings were due, at least in part, to the poor mental health found among many of the participants. Researchers found that HIV stigma was one of the strongest predictors of poor access to medical care and that both HIV stigma and poor mental health predicted suboptimal adherence to medication. Adherence to HIV medications is already known to lead to better health outcomes, including survival, among people living with HIV.

"We were surprised to find that in our models, experiencing high levels of internalized HIV stigma was one of the strongest predictors of poor access to medical care, even after controlling for sociodemographics such as gender, race and ethnicity, income, insurance status, and clinical variables such as T-cell count and years since HIV diagnosis," said the study's lead investigator, Dr. Jennifer Sayles, an assistant professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and medical director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health's Office of AIDS Programs and Policy.

The study is one of the first to quantify how internalized feelings of stigmatization among people living with HIV negatively influence health outcomes.

The findings demonstrate the urgent need for more community dialogue, education and awareness about HIV and the stigma that surrounds the disease, according to Sayles.

"It also highlights the need to address some of the social and contextual aspects of HIV for those living with the disease and to develop interventions that reduce internalized HIV stigma as a barrier to care and treatment," Sayles said.

The two-year study focused on 202 HIV-positive men and women in Los Angeles County, many of them minorities and many with limited incomes and limited education. Study participants completed anonymous surveys assessing internalized HIV stigma, self-reported access to medical care, their regular source of HIV care and ART adherence.

Overall, one-third of the participants reported experiencing high levels of stigma, and, on average, participants described experiencing or perceiving stigma slightly less frequently than "some of the time." Additionally, 77 percent of participants said they had poor access to care, 42.5 percent reported suboptimal adherence to ART and 10.5 percent reported having no regular source of HIV care.

The researchers point to some limitations in the study. They could not establish causality between internalized HIV stigma and negative outcomes -- only a strong association between them. Also, the study did not directly measure social inequality, social support, self-efficacy and other similar covariates that may be related to HIV stigma. The study may also have missed people who do not access care or HIV services at all, given that study participants were recruited from community organizations providing outreach and social services to people living with HIV and from HIV clinical care sites. Finally, non-English speakers such as Latinos and Asian Americans were underrepresented in the sample.

Study co-authors include Mitchell D. Wong, Janni J. Kinsler and William Cunningham, all of UCLA, and David Martins of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science.

Grants from the American Foundation for AIDS Research, the California HIV Research Program Network for AIDS Research in Los Angeles, the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities, and the National Institute on Aging supported this research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Los Angeles. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jennifer N. Sayles, Mitchell D. Wong, Janni J. Kinsler, David Martins, William E. Cunningham. The Association of Stigma with Self-Reported Access to Medical Care and Antiretroviral Therapy Adherence in Persons Living with HIV/AIDS. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 2009; 24 (10): 1101 DOI: 10.1007/s11606-009-1068-8

Cite This Page:

University of California - Los Angeles. "Feelings Of Stigmatization May Discourage HIV Patients From Proper Care." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091021154914.htm>.
University of California - Los Angeles. (2009, October 22). Feelings Of Stigmatization May Discourage HIV Patients From Proper Care. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091021154914.htm
University of California - Los Angeles. "Feelings Of Stigmatization May Discourage HIV Patients From Proper Care." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091021154914.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins