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Assessment of HIV-related compound stigma structure in Ukrainian general population

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HIV/AIDS stigma durably compounds with other marginalized groups’ co-stigmas and bigger cleavagesof social inequality (Campbell &Deacon, 2006). While it may be considered a manifestation of the epidemics’ structural drivers that were named by P. Piot (2006) among its greatest challenges, it surprisingly lacksmeasurement. In this article, we made partial quantitative assessment of some compound stigma layers among Ukrainian general population.

We explored secondary cross-sectional data of European Values Study by binarylogistic regression. In terms of odd ratios, HIV/AIDS stigma appeared to be strongly compounded with co-stigmasofinjecting drug users (OR: 4,65 [95% CI: 2,96–7,33]), homosexuals (OR: 2.89 [95% CI: 2,21–3,78]), formerconvicts (OR: 2,78 [95% CI: 2,13–3,62]) and, in peculiar, of immigrants/foreign workers (OR: 6,91 [95% CI: 4,32–11,05]). Unacceptability of commercial sex work was moderately layered with HIV/AIDS stigma (OR: 1.08 [95%CI: 1,00–1,16]), whereas no significant associations with unacceptability of «non-commercial» adultery or casualsex were found. In addition, holding of HIV/AIDS stigma is confounded by absence of higher education (1,55 times[95% CI: 1,13–2,13]) and living in small settlements (OR: 1,53 [95% CI: 1,11–2,11]) or towns with 5000–100000population (OR: 1,51 [95% CI: 1,09–2,09]).

We interpreted it as effect of uneven distribution of knowledge about HIV among population. Associations with age and gender were statistically insignificant. Findings from the studyimply importance of combating particular co-stigmas for reducing HIV-related stigma. Specifically, countermeasures to layering with stigmaof immigrants have been underestimated yet, and are of potential strategicconcern for Ukraine.

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