Can we measure HIV/AIDS-related stigma and discrimination?

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Laura Nyblade, Kerry MacQuarrie

HIV-related stigma and discrimination has accompanied the AIDS epidemic from the start. Fear of and actual experience with stigma and discrimination (S&D) reduce an individual’s willingness to practice prevention, seek HIV testing, disclose his or her HIV status to others, ask for (or give) care and support, and begin and adhere to treatment. As efforts to address S&D increase, so does the need for a set of standard tested and validated S&D indicators. This report suggests ways to begin the process of quantitatively measuring stigma in an effort to help practitioners, policymakers and donors evaluate their programs.