The gendered influence of stigma on HIV testing behaviour: Results from a population-based survey of women and men in Rwanda

The Gendered Influence of Stigma on HIV Testing Behaviour.pdf

This presentation, led by the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW-DC) in collaboration with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), highlights that stigmatisation is a multifaceted process, and distinct domains of stigma may impact HIV testing behaviour differently.

The researchers conducted analyses to examine the relationship between domains and HIV testing behaviour among Rwandan men and women who participated in a population-based survey in 2011.

Multivariable logistic regression analyses were conducted using data from 4,669 Rwandan women and men aged 15 years and older to predict ‘ever tested for HIV.’ Independent variables included:

  • sociodemographics
  • knowledge of and proximity to HIV
  • two stigma domains
  • ‘drivers’ (fear of HIV infection through casual contact with people living with HIV)
  • ‘manifestations’ (anticipated and perceived stigma, shame and discriminatory attitudes)

All analyses were disaggregated by gender.

Preliminary findings suggest that drivers and manifestations of stigma influence HIV testing behaviour differently for women and men. This suggests that there is a need for tailored interventions, including stigma-reduction components, to increase HIV testing among both genders in Rwanda. Targeted interventions are also needed to increase testing among adolescents (aged 15-24) and older (50+) men and women.

This presentation was delivered by Shari Krishnaratne in Brisbane, Australia, 13–16 September 2015 at the biennial conference of the International Society for Sexually Transmitted Diseases Research (ISSTDR). Dr James Hargreaves also presented research from the STRIVE Working Group on Biomedical HIV Interventions.

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