Duty and destiny: Psychometric properties and correlates of HIV-related stigma among youth NGO workers in Delhi, India

Devaki Nambiar, Rajiv N. Rimal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are increasingly providing critical health-related services to hard-to-reach populations. In India, stigma has been cited as a barrier to NGO participation in HIV-prevention activities with high-risk populations. Our study undertook to characterize and contextualize HIV-related stigma within HIV NGOs in Delhi, India. We investigated psychometric characteristics and correlates of HIV-related stigma in a sample of youth NGO practitioners (N=122) working on peer HIV prevention. Factor analyses revealed a cultural inflection of stigma in this population: assignment of blame on people living with HIV (PLWH) factored along with individual behaviors and care-taking (Dharma, or Duty), distinct from the perception of HIV as God's punishment, which was connected to ostracism from society (Karma, or Destiny). Exposure to HIV-related messages in newspapers was associated with 55.7% lower levels of Dharma-related stigma (p=0.07) and 58% lower levels of Karma-related stigma scores (p=0.01), respectively, while recall of HIV-related messages on the radio was associated with 57.3% lower Dharma-related (p=0.03) and 34.1% lower Karma-related stigma scores (p=0.06), respectively. The strongest correlate of lower HIV-related stigma was social proximity to PLWH (~76% reduction on both stigma factors, p<0.03). Future research on HIV-related stigma should consider the unique cultural properties and correlates of stigma among young NGO practitioners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1384-1391
Number of pages8
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2012


  • India
  • NGOs
  • psychometrics
  • stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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