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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 62-69

Stigma and its Associated Factors among People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA) Attending ART Centre in a Tertiary Care Institute in Kolkata

1 Department of Community Medicine, Malda Medical College and Hospital, Malda, West Bengal, India
2 Department of Public Health Administration, All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
3 Department of Epidemiology, All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kaushik Adhikari
Department of Community Medicine, 8, Santashree, PO: Hridaypur, North 24 Parganas, Pin-700127, Kolkata, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mamcjms.mamcjms_87_21

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Background: AIDS stigma exists in a variety of ways, including ostracism, rejection, discrimination, and avoidance of HIV-infected people. Some people are rejected by family and community, whereas others face poor treatment in healthcare and educational settings, erosion of their rights, and psychologic damage. All these limit access to HIV testing, treatment, and other HIV services. Objectives: This study was undertaken to determine the proportion of patients with severe stigma among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA) and to identify the factors associated with it. Materials and methods: It was a cross-sectional study conducted among 444 PLHA, attending ART center of a tertiary care institute of Kolkata, chosen by systematic random sampling. Berger scale was used to classify stigma as no, mild, and severe stigma. Logistic regression analyses were performed to identify the risk factors. Results: About 32.7% of PLHA had experienced severe forms of stigma. These were severe forms of personalized stigma (33.8%), negative self-image (25.9%), perceived public attitude (27.5%), and disclosure concerns (30.0%). Overall severe stigma was higher in females (33.3%) than males (31.8%). After binary logistic regression, factors significantly associated with severe stigma included age [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 1.564 (1.071–2.285), sig: 0.021], socioeconomic status [AOR 0.748 (0.574–0.974), sig: 0.031], HIV status known to the partner [AOR 19.965 (3.3673–78.357), sig: <0.0001], presence of comorbidities [AOR 8.497 (3.541–20.389), sig: <0.0001], and possible mode of transmission not known by the patient [AOR 0.615 (0.380–0.993), sig: 0.047]. Conclusion: Study found that those who were older, who were from lower socioeconomic group, whose partner knew their disease status, who were having comorbidities, and who do not know their mode of infection experienced a higher level of HIV-related stigma.

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