From conceptualizing to measuring HIV stigma: a review of HIV stigma mechanism measures

AIDS Behav. 2009 Dec;13(6):1160-77. doi: 10.1007/s10461-009-9593-3. Epub 2009 Jul 28.


Recent analyses suggest that lack of clarity in the conceptualization and measurement of HIV stigma at an individual level is a significant barrier to HIV prevention and treatment efforts. In order to address this concern, we articulate a new framework designed to aid in clarifying the conceptualization and measurement of HIV stigma among individuals. The HIV Stigma Framework explores how the stigma of HIV elicits a series of stigma mechanisms, which in turn lead to deleterious outcomes for HIV uninfected and infected people. We then apply this framework to review measures developed to gauge the effect of HIV stigma since the beginning of the epidemic. Finally, we emphasize the utility of using three questions to guide future HIV stigma research: who is affected by, how are they affected by, and what are the outcomes of HIV stigma?

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Concept Formation
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • HIV-1
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Prejudice*
  • Research
  • Social Alienation*
  • Stereotyping*