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HIV stigma and associated factors among antiretroviral treatment clients in Jimma town, Southwest Ethiopia

Authors Nikus Fido N, Aman M, Brihnu Z

Received 2 June 2016

Accepted for publication 20 September 2016

Published 23 November 2016 Volume 2016:8 Pages 183—193


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Professor Bassel Sawaya

Neno Nikus Fido, Mamusha Aman, Zewdie Brihnu

Department of Health Education and Behavioral Sciences, Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia

Background: HIV stigma has an important role in the spread of the AIDS epidemic. It profoundly affects the lives of individuals living with HIV/AIDS. Fear of being identified as having HIV may discourage a person from getting tested, accessing medical services, and obtaining medications. Thus, this study was aimed at assessing HIV-related stigma and associated factors among antiretroviral treatment (ART) clients in Jimma town, Oromia region, Southwest Ethiopia.
Methods: A facility-based cross-sectional study was conducted from March 11 to April 26, 2015, in ART clinics in Jimma town. Consecutively identified sample was obtained from ART clients who voluntarily participated in the survey after signing written consent. A structured interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to collect the data. Multiple linear regressions were conducted to assess the factors associated with various stigma domains.
Results: Out of 349 clients requested, 318 (91.1%) respondents voluntarily participated in the study; among them, 204 (64.2%) respondents were females and the mean age of the respondents was 32.9 years. The mean score (and possible range) of experienced HIV stigma was 41.5±12.6 (20.0–86.7), internalized stigma was 50.5±16.4 (20–96.5), and perceived stigma was 56.2±19.2 (20–100).
Conclusion: The study revealed that duration of ART use and provider-initiated and forced HIV testing were significantly associated with the three HIV stigma domains. Despite the lower experienced HIV stigma, there were higher internalized and perceived stigmas. Therefore, HIV counseling services should be strengthened for new ART beginners, including pretest counseling.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Jimma, stigma, ART clients, PLWHA

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