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Stigmatization of AIDS patients: disentangling Thai nursing students' attitudes towards HIV/AIDS, drug use, and commercial sex.

Chan KY, Stoové MA, Sringernyuang L, Reidpath DD

  • Journal AIDS and behavior

  • Published 16 Mar 2007

  • Volume 12

  • ISSUE 1

  • Pagination 146-57

  • DOI 10.1007/s10461-007-9222-y


This paper analyzes the interrelationships between the stigma of HIV/AIDS stigma and the co-stigmas of commercial sex (CS) and injecting drug use (IDU). Students of a Bangkok nursing college (N=144) were presented with vignettes describing a person varying in the disease diagnoses (AIDS, leukemia, no disease) and co-characteristics (IDU, CS, blood transfusion, no co-characteristic). For each vignette, participants completed a social distance measure assessing their attitudes towards the hypothetical person portrayed. Multivariate analyses showed strong interactions between the stigmas of AIDS and IDU but not between AIDS and CS. Although AIDS was shown to be stigmatizing in and of itself, it was significantly less stigmatizing than IDU. The findings highlight the need to consider the non-disease-related stigmas associated with HIV as well as the actual stigma of HIV/AIDS in treatment and care settings. Methodological strengths and limitations were evaluated and implications for future research discussed.