AIDS stigma among inmates and staff in a USA state prison

Derlega, Valerian J.; Winstead, Barbara A.; Brockington Jr., James E.
April 2008
International Journal of STD & AIDS;Apr2008, Vol. 19 Issue 4, p259
Academic Journal
We examined AIDS stigma among male inmates and male and female staff at a state prison in the southern region of the USA. Inmates and staff rated people with AIDS more negatively than someone with other diseases (diabetes, cancer, heart disease and high blood pressure). Inmates and staff were concerned about being treated differently if they tested seropositive. They also described AIDS stigma as a barrier to seeking HIV testing. Both instrumental (inaccurate beliefs about casual contact causing transmission of the virus) and symbolic factors (negative attitudes about injection drug use) predicted AIDS stigma. Negative attitudes about homosexuality predicted AIDS stigma among Caucasian prison staff and inmates, but not among African American staff and inmates. The results indicate the need to address HIV/AIDS stigma in developing HIV treatment, care and prevention programs in the prison environment.


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