Working towards more accurate research on HIV stigma

31 August 2012
Alexandra Hyde

Measuring the impact of stigma as a global driver of HIV involves considerable conceptual and technical challenges. The diversity of research on stigma matches its complexity as a social and structural phenomenon – HIV stigma comes in many different forms, exists in all kinds of contexts and produces a wide range of consequences, often intersecting with other kinds of social stigma.

STRIVE recognises that to be able to characterize stigma as a global driver of HIV infection, it is necessary to measure it more uniformly and accurately. With the release of a new technical brief entitled Measuring HIV stigma and discrimination, STRIVE has leveraged the expertise of its members towards this aim. This is the first in a series of briefs that will explore how to better quantify and conceptualise the structural drivers of HIV.

The technical brief builds on ICRW’s extensive experience of research on stigma in a number of different settings. Written by Anne L. Stangl, Laura Brady and Katherine Fritz, it sets out a definitive framework for mapping how HIV stigma functions, how it can be measured and where to intervene.

The framework breaks down HIV stigma into several constituent parts. It provides a range of conceptual ‘domains’ for the measurement of stigma and factors in different populations, for example the family of people living with HIV or healthcare workers. Designed for researchers and programmes seeking measurable and comparative outcomes, the brief also sets out an illustrative table of research and survey questions.

Download the technical brief here.