Reducing HIV stigma among nursing students: a brief intervention

West J Nurs Res. 2014 Nov;36(10):1323-37. doi: 10.1177/0193945914523685. Epub 2014 Feb 25.


HIV stigma can be devastating and is common among health care providers, particularly nurses. The objectives of this study were to (a) assess the acceptability and feasibility of a brief stigma-reduction curriculum among a convenience sample of Indian nursing students and (b) examine the preliminary effect of this curriculum on their knowledge, attitudes, and intent to discriminate. At baseline, 57% of students had at least one misconception about HIV transmission, 38% blamed people living with HIV for their infection, and 87% and 95% demonstrated intent to discriminate while dispensing medications and drawing blood, respectively. Following the curriculum, HIV-related knowledge increased while blame, endorsement of coercive policies, and intent to discriminate decreased significantly. In addition, more than 95% of participants described the curriculum as practice changing. This brief intervention resulted in decreased stigma levels and was also highly acceptable to the nursing students. Next steps include rigorous evaluation in a randomized controlled trial.

Keywords: AIDS; HIV; India; education; nursing; stigma.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • HIV*
  • Humans
  • India
  • Social Stigma*
  • Students, Nursing / psychology*
  • Teaching / methods*