XVIII International AIDS Conference


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HIV knowledge and stigmatization among Chilean health care workers

L. Powell1, L. Mcclellan1, L. Ferrer2, K.F. Norr1, J.L. Norr1, R. Cianelli3, L. Irarrazabal2

1University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Nursing, Chicago, United States, 2School of Nursing at Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, College of Nursing, Santiago, Chile, 3University of Miami, College of Nursing, Miami, United States

Background: Stigmatization of persons living with HIV (PLWHIV) decreases the quality of care and may be partially due to lack of knowledge. This paper examines HIV knowledge and stigmatization among Chilean health care workers (HCWs).
Methods: This secondary multiple regression analysis uses baseline self-administered survey data from a larger intervention study (n=555 HCWs). We examined Overall Stigmatization (7 items, α=.65, range 1-4, 4=Very Uncomfortable) and two sub-components relevant for HCWs: Blame, 1-item “a person who is HIV positive should be blamed for what he or she did in the past” (range 1-4, 4=definitely yes) and Client Contact Stigma (3 items, how comfortable at the clinic: having HIV patients, shaking hands, treating client with HIV; range 1-4; α=.73). Independent variables included a 25-item HIV knowledge scale (α=.67; mean score 73% correct), a 31-item standard precautions (SP) knowledge index (mean score 83% correct), age (mean age 39.6), gender (80% female), education (68% university/college) and occupation (33% professional, 34% paraprofessional, 33% non-technical).
Results: The mean scores for the stigma measures were: Overall Stigmatization, 1.46 (sd .38); Blame, 1.10 (sd .50); Client Contact Stigma 1.89 (sd .63). The independent variables explained 21.2% of the variance in Overall Stigmatization, 9.7% of the variance in Blame and 10.6% of the variation in Client Contact Stigma. For Overall Stigmatization, significant predictors (α< .05) included technical or university education (B = -.091), being a non-clinical worker (B = +.091), and HIV knowledge (B = -.319). For Blame, significant predictors included age (B=.108), SP knowledge (B = -.195), and HIV knowledge (B = -.168). For Client Contact Stigma, the only significant predictor was HIV knowledge (B = -.180).
Conclusions: Interventions to increase knowledge about HIV and SP can decrease stigmatization among HCWs in Chile, but knowledge alone is insufficient to eliminate stigmatization.

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