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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 6-11

A questionnaire survey of stigma related to human immunodeficiency virus infection/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome among healthy population

1 Psychologist, District Mental Health Programme, National Health Mission, Raebareli, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, Integral Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
3 Department of Psychiatry, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
4 Psychologist, District Mental Health Programme, National Health Mission, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Sujita Kumar Kar
Department of Psychiatry, King George's Medical University, Lucknow - 226 003, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2225-6482.203265

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Background and Objectives: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-related stigma is present at all levels which act as critical barriers for effectively addressing it. This also influences the treatment uptake and under or nonparticipation in treatment available. In view of this, the present study was aimed to assess the stigma of otherwise healthy individuals of the community toward HIV infection/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Methods: The study was conducted on 100 healthy individuals. Their responses were taken on a self-designed semi-structured questionnaire. Results: The results showed that there is more perceived stigma as compared to enacted stigma. Nearly 46% of the individuals feel that HIV-infected persons should be blamed for their illness and 41% individuals feel that they will feel ashamed if they have HIV. It was also seen that older adults. (between 46 and 55 years) had more stigma as compared to the younger adults (between 16 and 25 years). The educated individuals still have stigma to a certain extent. Most of the individuals would like to tell their partner if they were diagnosed with HIV. Participants were divided into two groups on the basis of their level of education. (<12 years of formal education and >12 years of formal education). Stigma related to HIV/AIDS was compared among these two groups, and there was no significant difference in the level of stigma in these distinctly different educational groups. Conclusion: There is still stigma present to a certain extent in the society in the educated and urban individuals. Level of stigma may not be significantly different in people with educational difference. Stigma needs to be addressed for prevention and better management of HIV/AIDS.

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