Conference Proceeding

Effect of stigma and discrimination toward access to HIV counseling and testing uptake among KAPs

Ms. Lubna Altaf Hussain,
Mahidol University, Thailand

Lubna Altaf Hussain was an “Addiction Therapist (Intern & Scholar)" in Drug & Alcohol Rehab Asia from Feb- July, 2015. She had done her masters in Addiction studies and psychology. She has been awarded with Scholarship by Drug and Alcohol Rehab Asia (DARA) for Masters of Arts in Addiction Studies.

Background: Key affected populations are vulnerable group due to social and institutional rejection and discrimination. Depending on the context, they could include sex workers and men who have sex with men. Case reports of stigma and discrimination (S&D) among key affected population have focused on individuals’ experiences. Population-based quantification of associations between stigma and discrimination factor and HIV testing is rare documented in Thailand. This study aimed to describe the association between S&D and HIV testing among key affected population in Thailand.
Methods: A population-based survey was done among MSM, FSW using time location sampling technique in 7 of 31 target provinces of Thai National AIDS plan during 2012 - 2016. To approach and access the target groups, we requested NGOs and MSM peer leaders to get permission and refer them to us. MSM and FSW were interviewed by well-trained research team using structural questionnaires between February andJune 2013. A total of 317 MSM and 334 FSW were interviewed.
Results: Mostly, MSM were 24 years old or younger but FSW were more than 24 years old. Out of 317 MSM and 334 FSW, 41.6% and 68.3% had been tested for HIV respectively. The main reasons for not test were no time, no risk (use condom) and fear to know the test result. The study showed that those who did not ever tested and will not test next year was significantly associated with negative testing attitudes, stigmas; ascribing greater shame, guilt, fear and social disapproval to people living with HIV when compared to those who had ever tested.
Conclusions: The HIV/AIDS stigma, fear and discrimination have been linked with less participation in VCT programs. Increasing VCT coverage requires reduction of stigmatizing attitudes towards HIV test and PLHIV. The "normalization" of HIV can be applied and designed for effective intervention.

Published: 05 May 2017