Correlating social factors and HIV-related stigma of rural residents in Sorsogon, Philippines
Graham M Naz
With an alarming increase of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) cases in the Philippines, one key to prevention is eliminating the HIV-related stigma. The study attempted to determine the level of HIV-related stigma of the residents in a predominantly rural province, Sorsogon. Further, it also explored on the correlation of the demographic factors with the level of their HIV-related stigma. This cross-sectional and descriptive study was participated by 384 residents, chosen through systematic random sampling. It adopted Genberg et al’s Stigma and Discrimination Scale, as its survey instrument. Results revealed that the residents’ level of HIV-related stigma is moderate. They believe that persons living with HIV (PLHIV) are not cursed or punished and must be treated fairly, but they remain uncomfortable associating with PLHIV and feel that discrimination against them exists. Using Spearman rho, education level and marital status displayed significant correlation with HIV-related stigma among all other factors. The study recommends intensive community-based awareness programs initiated by the local government, involving the less educated adults, out-of-school youths, and the males as target beneficiaries.