HIV discrimination and the health of women living with HIV

Gina M. Wingood, Ralph J. DiClemente, Isis Mikhail, Donna Hubbard McCree, Susan L. Davies, James W. Hardin, Shani Harris Peterson, Edward W. Hook, Mike Saag

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Women living with HIV are especially vulnerable to discrimination because of the stigma associated with the disease, as well as their race, gender and class status. To investigate the association between self-reported HIV discrimination and health outcomes among African- American and white women living with HIV, 366 women living with HIV were recruited from HIV/AIDS clinics in Georgia and Alabama. In this cross-sectional study, participants completed an interview that assessed self-reported HIV discrimination and depressive symptomatology, suicidal ideation, self-esteem, stress, quality of life, sexual health and HIV/ AIDS related health care seeking. Nearly a sixth of the sample reported experiencing HIV discrimination. Women reporting HIV discrimination had higher mean scores for stress, suicidal ideation, depressive symptoms, number of unprotected sexual episodes; they had lower mean scores for self-esteem, and quality of life, and were more likely to have not sought medical care for HIV/AIDS. In race-specific analyses, none of the relationships between HIV discrimination and health outcomes were significant for white women. African-American women who reported HIV discrimination had higher mean scores for stress, suicidal ideation, depressive symptoms, number of unprotected sexual episodes; they had lower mean scores for self-esteem, and quality of life, and were more likely not to have sought medical care for HIV/AIDS. The findings indicated that HIV discrimination adversely affects women's mental, sexual and physical health. However, separate race-specific analyses indicated that compared to white women, African-American women were markedly more likely to experience the adverse affects of HIV discrimination. Eradication of HIV discrimination remains an important public health priority.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-112
Number of pages14
JournalWomen and Health
Volume46
Issue number2-3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007

    Fingerprint

Keywords

  • HIV discrimination
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Wingood, G. M., DiClemente, R. J., Mikhail, I., McCree, D. H., Davies, S. L., Hardin, J. W., Harris Peterson, S., Hook, E. W., & Saag, M. (2007). HIV discrimination and the health of women living with HIV. Women and Health, 46(2-3), 99-112. https://doi.org/10.1300/J013v46n02_07