Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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


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.

  1. Earnshaw, V.A., Chaudoir, S.R. (2009). From conceptualizing to measuring HIV stigma: a review of HIV stigma mechanism measures. AIDS and Behavior, 13 (6), 1160-1177.

  2. Kaplan, A.H., Scheyett, A., Golin, C.E. (2005). HIV and stigma: Analysis and research program. Current HIV/AIDS Reports, 2 (4), 184-188.

  3. Goffman, E. (1963). Stigma: Notes on the management of spoiled identity. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

  4. Mahajan, A.P., Sayles, J.N., Patel, V.A., Remien, R.H., Ortiz, D., Szekeres, G., Coates, T.J. (2008). Stigma in the HIV/AIDS epidemic: A review of the literature and recommendations for the way forward. AIDS (London, England), 22 (Suppl 2), 67-79.

  5. Stein, J. (2003). HIV/AIDS stigma: The latest dirty secret. African Journal of AIDS Research, 2 (2), 95-101.

  6. Campbell, C., Deacon, H. (2006). Unravelling the contexts of stigma: from internalisation to resistance to change. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 16 (6), 411-417.

  7. Castro, A., Farmer, P. (2005). Understanding and addressing AIDS-related stigma: from anthropological theory to clinical practice in Haiti. Journal Information, 95 (1). URL:

  8. Link, B.G., Phelan, J.C. (2001). Conceptualizing stigma. Annual review of Sociology, 363-385.

  9. Parker, R., Aggleton, P. (2003). HIV and AIDS-related stigma and discrimination: a conceptual framework and implications for action. Social science & medicine, 57 (1), 13-24.

  10. Nyblade, L.C. (2006). Measuring HIV stigma: Existing knowledge and gaps. Psychology, Health & Medicine, 11 (3), 335-345.

  11. Demchenko, I.L., Kostenko, K.S., Grigorenko, Y.M., Parkhomenko, Z.V., Galusyan, Y.M., Nizova, N.M., Salabaj, N.V. (2008). Ukraine: Monitoring the UNGASS-AIDS goals on sexual and reproductive health. Analytical Survey. Kyiv. URL: [in Ukrainian].

  12. Mawar, N., Sahay, S., Pandit, A., Mahajan, U. (2005). The third phase of HIV pandemic: social consequences of HIV/AIDS stigma & discrimination & future needs. Indian Journal of Medical Research, 122 (6), 471.

  13. Herek, G.M. (2002). Thinking about AIDS and stigma: A psychologist’s perspective. The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 30 (4), 594-607.

  14. Deacon, H. (2006). Towards a sustainable theory of health-related stigma: lessons from the HIV/AIDS literature. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 16 (6), 418-425.

  15. Herek, G.M. (1999). AIDS and stigma. American Behavioral Scientist, 42 (7), 1106-1116.

  16. Piot, P. (2006). AIDS: from crisis management to sustained strategic response. Lancet, 368 (9534), 526-530.

  17. Conrad, P. (1986). The social meaning of AIDS. Policy making Under Adversity,  17 (1), 75.

  18. Herek, G.M., Glunt, E.K. (1988). An epidemic of stigma: Public reactions to AIDS. American Psychologist, 43 (11), 886.

  19. Anderson, M., Elam, G., Gerver, S., Solarin, I., Fenton, K., Easterbrook, P. (2008). HIV/AIDS-related stigma and discrimination: Accounts of HIV-positive Caribbean people in the United Kingdom. Social Science & Medicine, 67 (5), 790-798.

  20. Bharat, S. (2011). A systematic review of HIV/AIDS-related stigma and discrimination in India: Current understanding and future needs. SAHARA-J: Journal of Social Aspects of HIV/AIDS, 8 (3), 138-149.

  21. Chan, K.Y., Yang, Y., Zhang, K.-L., Reidpath, D.D. (2007). Disentangling the stigma of HIV/AIDS from the stigmas of drugs use, commercial sex and commercial blood donation – a factorial survey of medical students in China. BMC Public Health, 7 (1), 280.

  22. Dodds, C. (2006). HIV-related stigma in England: experiences of gay men and heterosexual African migrants living with HIV. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 16 (6), 472-480.

  23. Kasapoğlu, A., Kuş, E. (2008). The role of gender in the stigmatization of people living with HIV/AIDS in Turkey. Journal of Gender Studies, 17 (4), 359-368.

  24. Nyblade, L., Pande, R., Mathur, S., MacQuarrie, K., Kidd, R., Banteyerga, H., Bond, V. (2003). Disentangling HIV and AIDS stigma in Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Zambia. Washington, DC: International Center for Research on Women Washington. URL:

  25. Sengupta, S., Banks, B., Jonas, D., Miles, M.S., Smith, G.C. (2011). HIV Interventions to Reduce HIV/AIDS Stigma: A Systematic Review. AIDS and Behavior, 15 (6), 1075-1087.

  26. Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS. Global report UNAIDS report on the global AIDS epidemic: 2012. (2012). Geneva: UNAIDS. URL:

  27. Demchenko, I.L., Sosidko, T.I., Kostyuchok, M.M., Belonosova, N.A., Salabai, N.V., Hvozdetska, N.V., Poliantsev, P.I. (2011). The People Living with HIV Stigma Index: Analytical Report Based on Research Findings. (Analytical). Kyiv. URL: [in Ukrainian].

  28. Barcal, K., Schumacher, J.E., Dumchev, K., Moroz, L.V.  (2005). A situational picture of HIV/AIDS and injection drugusein Vinnitsya, Ukraine. Harm reduction journal,  2 (1), 16.

  29. Bolshov, E., Davis, O., Kharchenko, N., Oksamytna, S., Poholok, O., Sakhno, J., Zhmurko, O. (2008). Vulnerability Assessment of People Living With HIV (PLHIV) in Ukraine. Kyiv: Kiev International Institute of Sociology, UNDP. URL:

  30. Chase, E., Aggleton, P. (2001). Stigma, HIV/AIDS and prevention of mother-to-child transmission: A pilot study in Zambia, India, Ukraine and Burkina Faso. London: The Panos Institute: United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). URL:

  31. Health Policy Initiative, Task I, & The USAID. Stigmatization and discrimination of HIV-positive people by providers of general medical services in Ukraine. (2007). Washington, DC. URL:

  32. Mimiaga, M.J., Safren, S.A., Dvoryak, S., Reisner, S.L., Needle, R., Woody, G. (2010). We fear the police, and the police fear us: structural and individual barriers and facilitators to HIV medication adherence among injection drug users in Kiev, Ukraine. AIDS care, 22 (11), 1305-1313.

  33. Spicer, N., Bogdan, D., Brugha, R., Harmer, A., Murzalieva, G., Semigina, T. (2011). ‘It’s risky to walk in the city with syringes’: understanding access to HIV/AIDS services for injecting drug users in the former Soviet Union countries of Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan. Globalization and Health, 7, 22.

  34. Zakharov, E. (eds.). (2013). Human Rights in Ukraine 2012. Human rights organizations report. Kharkiv: Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group. URL: [in Ukrainian].

  35. European Values Study & GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences (2011): EVS 1981–2008 Variable Report. GESIS – Variable Reports 2011/10. URL:

  36. Halman, L., Sieben, I., van Zundert, M. (2012). Atlas of European values: Trends and traditions at the turn of the century. Koninklijke Brill.

  37. European Values Study European Values Study 1981–2008, Longitudinal Data File. GESIS Data Archive, Cologne, Germany, ZA4804 Data File Version 1.0.0 (2011-04-30).

  38. State Statistics Committee of Ukraine. (2004). All-Ukrainian Population Census 2001. English version. Results. General results of the census. National composition of population: Retrieved April 20, 2013. URL:

  39. Pulerwitz, J., Michaelis, A., Weiss, E., Brown, L., Mahendra, V. (2010). Reducing HIV-related stigma: lessons learned from Horizons research and programs. Public health reports, 125 (2), 272-281.

  40. Feyissa, G.T., Abebe, L., Girma, E., Woldie, M. (2012). Validation of an HIV-related stigma scale among health care providers in a resource-poor Ethiopian setting. Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare, 5, 97-113.

  41. Schenker, I.I. (2006). HIV/AIDS literacy: an essential component in education for all. Paper commissioned for the EFA Global Monitoring Report. URL:

  42. Bega, A. (2007). HIV/AIDS Policy in Ukraine: A Civil Society Perspective. Open Society Foundations. Open Society Institute, New York. URL:

  43. Ministry of Health of Ukraine. Ukraine Harmonized AIDS Response Progress Report. Kyiv, 2012. URL:

  44. Shalizi, C.R. (2013). Advanced Data Analysis from an Elementary Point of View. Manuscript submitted for publication. URL:

  45. Nizova, N.M., Shcherbynska, A.M., Gaiovych, Y.V., Bochkova, L.V., Riabokon, S.V., Koliada, O.Y., Kobyshcha, Y.V. (2011). HIV-infection in Ukraine Newsletter. URL: [in Ukrainian].

  46. Reidpath, D.D., Chan, K.Y. (2005). A method for the quantitative analysis of the layering of HIV-related stigma. AIDS care, 17 (4), 425-432.

Full text