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How Does Stigma Affect People Living with HIV? The Mediating Roles of Internalized and Anticipated HIV Stigma in the Effects of Perceived Community Stigma on Health and Psychosocial Outcomes



How Does Stigma Affect People Living with HIV? The Mediating Roles of Internalized and Anticipated HIV Stigma in the Effects of Perceived Community Stigma on Health and Psychosocial Outcomes



Aids and Behavior 21(1): 283-291



Few researchers have attempted to examine the mechanisms through which HIV-related stigma in the community is processed and experienced at an individual level by people living with HIV. We examined how the effects of perceived HIV stigma in the community on health outcomes for people living with HIV are mediated by internalized stigma and anticipated stigma. Participants (N = 203) from an HIV clinic completed self-report measures and their clinical data were obtained from medical records. Results suggested that the association between perceived community stigma and affective, cognitive, and mental health outcomes (self-esteem, depressive symptoms, avoidance coping, self-blame) are mediated by internalized stigma. Furthermore, a serial mediation model suggested that perceived community stigma leads to internalized stigma, which leads to anticipated community stigma, which in turn leads to lower medication adherence. The associations between perceived community stigma and interpersonal outcomes (social support, trust in physicians) were mediated by internalized stigma and anticipated stigma, again in a serial fashion (perceived community stigma leads to internalized stigma, which leads to anticipated stigma, which in turn leads to interpersonal outcomes). These results suggest that perceived HIV-related stigma in the community may cause people living with HIV to internalize stigma and anticipate stigmatizing experiences, resulting in adverse health and psychosocial outcomes-information that can be used to shape interventions.

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Accession: 058008839

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 27272742

DOI: 10.1007/s10461-016-1451-5


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