Perceived stigma and discrimination towards people living with HIV/AIDS among young people in Tamil Nadu, India

Ramesh Chellan, Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI)
Periyathambi Rajendran, Hindusthan Latex Family Planning Promotion Trust
Bimal Charles, AIDS Prevention and Control Project, Voluntry Health Services
N. Ganeshan, AIDS Prevention and Control Project, Voluntry Health Services

In India, prevalence of HIV/AIDS is relatively high and very little is known in the context of HIV/AIDS related stigma and discrimination. To prevent HIV/AIDS associated stigma and discrimination, it is important to understand the factors related to stigma and discrimination towards People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHAS) in India. A community based survey of 796 male youth in urban slum aged 18-23 years is conducted in Tamil Nadu. Univariate analyses and multivariate logistic regression analyses are used to determine the perceived stigma and discrimination towards PLHAS and the factors associated with stigma and discrimination. Sixty percent of respondents perceived any one stigma and discrimination towards PLHAS. The respondents perceived that PLHAS as characterless (43.5 percent), they will not continue friendship or relationship with them (41.1 per cent), and they have to be isolated (21.2 percent). Multivariate analysis suggests that below 21 years of male youth, primary and below, those who never involved in sexual activities and misconception related knowledge of HIV/AIDS prevention are significantly more likely to state perceived stigma towards PLHAS. Therefore, all interventions need to address stigma and discrimination as part of their focus and behavior change communication also need to address HIV/AIDS related stigma and discrimination in order to bring change in the behavior among youth slum towards PLHAS.

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Presented in Session 78: Sexually transmitted diseases: risks and stigma