Independent and synergistic effects of self- and public stigmas on quality of life of HIV-infected persons


Lindayani, L., Ibrahim, K., Wang, J., & Ko, N. (2017). Independent and synergistic effects of self- and public stigmas on quality of life of HIV-infected persons. AIDS Care, 30(6), 706-713. DOI: 10.1080/09540121.2017.1396282


Stigma has a potential impact on the quality of life of HIV-infected individuals over time. There is little empirical evidence regarding the first appearance and dynamic changes among different types of stigma, self-stigma and public-stigma, and their impacts on quality of life over time in HIV-infected persons. The purpose of this study was to assess the dynamic changes in self-stigma and public-stigma along the time course and determined their independent and synergistic impacts on quality of life. A Cross-sectional study was conducted at Two HIV-designed hospitals and two branches of non-government an-AIDS organizations in Wes Java, Indonesia. Persons diagnosed with HIV completed self-report measures of stigma and the questionnaire of World Health Organization Quality of Life (WHOQOL)-HIV brief version. Kernel smoothing method and multivariate linear regression were applied for statistical analysis. Two hundred fifteen adult HIV-infected persons agreed to participate in this study, with a response rate of 85.3%. The kernel smoothing means showed that one-third of subjects developed self-stigma immediately after HIV diagnosis while a higher public-stigma felt 6 months later, and both seemed to last continually. Beginning at about 48 months after diagnosis, participants with stigma showed consistently lower scores for all domains of quality of life. After control of potential confounding through multiple linear regression analyses, we found scores of all four domains and items of mobility, fatigue, activity of daily living, positive feeling, self-esteem, social support, and physical environment of WHOQOL were independently associated with both self-stigma and public-stigma. While self-stigma also affects items related to personal psychological feelings, public stigma alone associates with lower scores of items related to social and environmental domains. Our findings underscore the need to explore and control the complex structure and possible synergistic effects of multiple stigmatizations.