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RESEARCH ARTICLE

Examining HIV-related stigma and discrimination in Ghana: what are the major contributors?

Eric Y. Tenkorang A C and Adobea Y. Owusu B

A Department of Sociology, Memorial University, St. John’s, NL, A1C 5S7, Canada.

B Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research, University of Ghana, P.O. Box LG 74, Legon, Ghana.

C Corresponding author. Email: eytenkorang@mun.ca

Sexual Health 10(3) 253-262 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/SH12153
Submitted: 11 September 2012  Accepted: 23 January 2013   Published: 8 May 2013

Abstract

Background: Although AIDS-related stigma and discrimination are considered detrimental to HIV prevention activities, not many studies have attempted to understand stigma and discrimination in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly Ghana. Methods: Using the 2008 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey and applying the ordinary least-squares technique, this study examined what influences AIDS-related stigma and discrimination among men and women in Ghana. Results: The results indicate that Ghanaian men and women with relatively high knowledge about HIV/AIDS had low stigmatising and discriminatory attitudes (b = –0.097, P < 0.01; b = –0.083, P < 0.01), respectively. On the other hand, respondents who endorsed more myths about HIV transmission had high stigma and discriminatory attitudes. Women who had ever tested for their HIV serostatus reported significantly lower levels of stigma and discrimination (b = –0.085, P < 0.01) compared with those who had not tested for HIV. Individuals who are highly educated, employed and in wealthy households all reported significantly lower levels of stigma and discrimination compared with those who are uneducated, unemployed and in poorer households. Conclusion: AIDS-related stigma and discrimination can be reduced by encouraging HIV testing, and ensuring that Ghanaians understand and have factual knowledge regarding the transmission of the disease.

Additional keywords: AIDS, myths, sub-Saharan Africa.


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