The role of HIV-related stigma in utilization of skilled childbirth services in rural Kenya

Janet M. Turan, Abigail H. Hatcher, José Medema-Wijnveen, Maricianah Onono, Suellen Miller, Elizabeth A. Bukusi, Bulent Turan, Craig R. Cohen PLoS Medicine, 2012; Vol. 9, Issue 8 Download publication

Findings indicate the urgent need for interventions to reduce HIV-related stigma.

The Maternity in Migori and AIDS Stigma Study (MAMAS Study) was conducted in a high HIV prevalence area in rural Kenya. The study examined the effect of women's perceptions of HIV-related stigma during pregnancy on their use of maternity services.

How does HIV-related stigma influence birth decisions?

  • Qualitative data found that health facility birth was viewed as most appropriate for women with pregnancy complications, such as HIV. Thus, women delivering at health facilities face the risk of being labelled as HIV-positive in the community;
  • Quantitative data found that women who held negative attitudes about persons living with HIV were subsequently less likely to deliver in a health facility with a skilled attendant.


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