Background: AIDS-related stigma and mental disorders are the most common conditions in people living with HIV (PLHIV). We therefore conducted this study to examine the association of AIDS-related stigma and discrimination with mental disorders among PLHIV in Cambodia.
Methods: A two-stage cluster sampling method was used to select 1,003 adult PLHIV from six provinces. The People Living with HIV Stigma Index was used to measure stigma and discrimination, and a short version of general health questionnaire (GHQ-12) was used to measure mental disorders. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was conducted.
Results: The reported experiences of discrimination in communities in the past 12 months ranged from 0.8% for reports of being denied health services to 42.3% for being aware of being gossiped about. Internal stigma was also common ranging from 2.8% for avoiding going to a local clinic and/or hospital to 59.6% for deciding not to have (more) children. The proportions of PLHIV who reported fear of stigma and discrimination ranged from 13.9% for fear of being physically assaulted to 34.5% for fear of being gossiped about. The mean score of GHQ-12 was 3.2 (SD = 2.4). After controlling for several potential confounders, higher levels of mental disorders (GHQ-12>4) remained significantly associated with higher levels of experiences of stigma and discrimination in family and communities (AOR = 1.9, 95% CI = 1.4–2.6), higher levels of internal stigma (AOR = 1.7, 95% CI = 1.2–2.3), and higher levels of fear of stigma and discrimination in family and communities (AOR = 1.5, 95% CI = 1.1– 2.2).
Conclusions: AIDS-related stigma and discrimination among PLHIV in Cambodia are common and may have potential impacts on their mental health conditions. These findings indicate a need for community-based interventions to reduce stigma and discrimination in the general public and to help PLHIV to cope with this situation.
Yi, S., Chhoun, P., Suong, S., Thin, K., Brody, C. M., & Tuot, S. (2015). AIDS-related stigma and mental disorders among people living with HIV: A cross-sectional study in Cambodia. PLOS One, 10(3) [Article e0121461].