Perceived discrimination and stigma toward children affected by HIV/AIDS and their HIV-positive caregivers in central Haiti

Pamela J. Surkan, Joia S. Mukherjee, David R. Williams, Eddy Eustache, Ermaze Louis, Thierry Jean-Paul, Wesler Lambert, Fiona C. Scanlan, Catherine M. Oswald, Mary Smith Fawzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In many settings worldwide, HIV-positive individuals have experienced a significant level of stigma and discrimination. This discrimination may also impact other family members affected by the disease, including children. The aim of our study was to identify factors associated with stigma and/or discrimination among HIV-affected youth and their HIV-positive caregivers in central Haiti. Recruitment of HIV-positive patients with children aged 10-17 years was conducted in 2006-2007. Data on HIV-related stigma and/or discrimination were based on interviews with 451 youth and 292 caregivers. Thirty-two percent of caregivers reported that children were discriminated against because of HIV/AIDS. Commune of residence was associated with discrimination against children affected by HIV/AIDS and HIV-related stigma among HIV-positive caregivers, suggesting variability across communities. Multivariable regression models showed that lacking social support, being an orphan, and caregiver HIV-related stigma were associated with discrimination in HIV-affected children. Caregiver HIV-related stigma demonstrated a strong association with depressive symptoms. The results could inform strategies for potential interventions to reduce HIV-related stigma and discrimination. These may include increasing social and caregiver support of children affected by HIV, enhancing support of caregivers to reduce burden of depressive symptoms, and promoting reduction of HIV-related stigma and discrimination at the community-level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)803-815
Number of pages13
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Volume22
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2010

Keywords

  • HIV
  • Haiti
  • caregivers
  • discrimination
  • stigma
  • youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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