Experience of HIV-related discrimination in health-care settings
Progress in reducing HIV-related discrimination experienced by people living with HIV when seeking health-care services.
Number of respondents who respond in the affirmative (“Yes”) to at least one of the seven items per question.
Number of all respondents
People Living with HIV Stigma Index
- Denial of care due to HIV status.
- Advised not to have sex because of HIV status.
- Being the subject of gossip or negative talk because of HIV status.
- Verbal abuse because of HIV status.
- Physical abuse because of HIV status.
- Avoidance of physical contact because of HIV status.
- Sharing of HIV status without consent.
Every 2–3 years
- Type of health service (HIV, non-HIV).
- Gender (male, female or transgender).
- Key population (identification with at least one of the key population groups).
- Age group (15–19 years, 20–24 years or 25–49 years).
- Length of time living with HIV (0–<1 years, 1–4 years, 5–9 years, 10–14 years, or 15+ years).
Explanation of the numerator
The proposed indicator combines 14 items that capture discrimination experienced by people living with HIV when seeking HIV care (seven items) and non-HIV care (seven items). During the 2016 consultation process to update the People Living with HIV Stigma Index survey, people living with HIV highlighted the importance of separately measuring discrimination experienced when seeking HIV and non-HIV care. In response, the new version of the survey asks about experiences of discrimination when seeking both HIV care and non-HIV care (whereas the original survey only asked about stigma experienced when seeking health services in general). When reporting on this indicator with data from People Living with HIV Stigma Index surveys conducted prior to 2017, it will not be possible to disaggregate by the type of health service sought.
The indicator measures HIV-related discrimination experienced in health-care settings. HIV is often associated with a range of behaviours that are viewed as socially deviant or immoral, such as injecting drug use and sexual promiscuity. Because of these underlying societal beliefs, people living with HIV often are viewed as shameful and are thought to be responsible for having contracted HIV. This shaming process has repercussions beyond the individual because it greatly reduces incentives to be tested for HIV or, in the event the test result is positive, to disclose HIV status to sexual partners or family members.
Mahajan AP, Sayles JN, Patel VA, Remien RH, Sawires SR, Ortiz DJ et al. Stigma in the HIV/AIDS epidemic: a review of the literature and recommendations for the way forward. AIDS. 2008;22(Suppl 2):S67–79.