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.
© The Author(s) 2014.