Community influences on HIV stigma in three African countries
Rob Stephenson, Emory University
This paper examines community influences on stigma surrounding HIV in 3 African countries: Burkina Faso, Ghana and Zambia. Using DHS data, the analysis examines the community factors that are associated with stigmatizing attitudes towards HIV among young people (15-24). Stigma is measured by an index composed of dimensions of young people's attitudes towards HIV: whether they believe an HIV positive person should not be allowed to teach, they would not buy food from an HIV positive person, they beleive serostatus should be kept secret, and they believe children should not be taught about condoms. The index is modeled in terms of several dimensions of the community in which the individual lives: demographic, economic, health care and cultural community characteristics. The results identify several relationships between the community and individual attitudes towards HIV. The results demonstrate a number of community characteristics that can be harnessed to develop effective community-based interventions to reduced HIV stigma.