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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

UAB Researchers Examine HIV-Related Stigma among Deep South Healthcare Workers

“Stigma towards people living with HIV (PLWH) in healthcare settings is a barrier to optimal treatment. However, our understanding of attitudes towards PLWH from healthcare providers’ perspective in the United States is limited and out-of-date,” write Ms. Kristi L. Stringer, graduate student trainee and PhD candidate in the department of sociology, and Dr. Janet M. Turan, professor in the department of health care organization and policy, at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Therefore, in a recent study they evaluated data relating to HIV-associated stigma from online questionnaires completed by 651 healthcare workers (60 percent White; 83 percent female) in Alabama and Mississippi.

[Photo: Dr. Janet M. Turan]

[Photo: Ms. Kristi L. Stringer]

The researchers observed that “multivariate regression suggests that several factors independently predict stigmatizing attitudes: Protestant compared to other religions (β = 0.129, p ≤ 0.05), White race compared to other races (β = 0.162, p ≤ 0.001), type of clinic (HIV/STI clinic: β = 0.112, p ≤ 0.01), availability of post-exposure prophylaxis (yes: β = −0.107,p ≤ 0.05), and perceptions of policy enforcement (policies not enforced: β = 0.058, p = p ≤ 0.05).”

The authors note that study findings may help providers enhance the quality of care for PLWH, while also concluding that the employment and enforcement of policies that disallow discrimination may further assist in reducing HIV-related stigma among healthcare workers.

UAB co-investigators are Dr. Lisa C. McCormick, assistant professor, and Ms. Modupeoluwa Durojaiye, DrPH student, in the department of health care organization and policy; Dr. Mirjam-Colette Kempf, associate professor in the School of Nursing and department of health behavior; and Dr. Bulent Turan, assistant professor in the department of psychology.

“HIV-Related Stigma Among Healthcare Providers in the Deep South” was published in December 2015 in the journal AIDS and Behavior.

Journal article: