Discrimination experienced by HIV/AIDS infected persons and its associations with mental health in an Indian sample

Deb, Sibnath, Sun, Jiandong, & Strodl, Esben (2013) Discrimination experienced by HIV/AIDS infected persons and its associations with mental health in an Indian sample. Stigma Research and Action [Ceased].

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The purpose of this study was to investigate the nature and prevalence of discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS in West Bengal, India, and how discrimination is associated with depression, suicidal ideation and suicidal attempts.


Semi-structured interviews and the Beck Depression Inventory were administered to 105 HIV infected persons recruited by incidental sampling, at an Integrated Counseling and Testing Center (ICTC) and through Networks of People Living with HIV/AIDS, in the West Bengal area.


Findings showed that 40.8% of the sample has experienced discrimination at least in one social setting – such as family (29.1%), health centers (18.4%), community (17.5%) and workplace (6.8%). About two-fifths (40.8%) reported experiencing discrimination in multiple social settings. Demographic factors associated with discrimination were gender, age, occupation, education, and current residence. More than half of the sample was suffering from severe depression while 8.7% had attempted suicide. Discrimination in most areas was significantly associated with suicidal ideation and suicidal attempts.


Prevalence of discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS is high in our sample from West Bengal. While discrimination was not associated with depressive symptomatology, discrimination was associated with suicidal ideation and attempts. These findings suggest that there is an urgent need for interventions to reduce discrimination of HIV/AIDS in the West Bengal region.

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ID Code: 56672
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Journal ceased publishing in 12/2013: http://stigmaj.org/
Keywords: Discrimination, India, HIV
ISSN: 2210-5174
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Health Clinical and Counselling Psychology (170106)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 24 Jan 2013 22:33
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2015 08:31

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