Multiple dimensions of HIV stigma and psychological distress among Asians and Pacific Islanders living with HIV illness

AIDS Behav. 2005 Jun;9(2):145-54. doi: 10.1007/s10461-005-3896-9.


Asians and Pacific Islanders (APIs) living with HIV/AIDS in the US are particularly vulnerable to HIV-related stigma largely due to ingrained socio-cultural norms that strongly associate HIV transmission with activities perceived to be immoral. This cross-sectional study examined the relationship between five HIV-stigma factors and psychological distress among 54 HIV-seropositive APIs. Social Rejection, Negative Self-Worth, Perceived Interpersonal Insecurity, and Financial Security were all significantly associated with psychological distress. Results from hierarchical multiple regression analyses indicated that Social Rejection, Negative Self-Worth, and Perceived Interpersonal Insecurity significantly predicted psychological distress after control for physical symptoms and country of birth. Undocumented Asians endorsed higher levels of Social Rejection, Negative Self-Worth and Perceived Interpersonal Insecurity than documented APIs. Future studies examining mechanisms of psychological distress among HIV-seropositive APIs are needed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Asia / ethnology
  • Asian Americans / psychology*
  • Cultural Characteristics
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • HIV Infections / transmission
  • HIV Seropositivity / transmission
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • New York City
  • Oceanic Ancestry Group / psychology*
  • Pacific Islands / ethnology
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data
  • Prejudice*
  • Psychometrics
  • Public Opinion
  • Rejection, Psychology
  • Self Concept
  • Sick Role*
  • Social Support
  • Social Values
  • Socioeconomic Factors