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Levels and functions of HIV/AIDS stigma within the Iranian community living in the Sydney metropolitan area

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Objective: This study examines the levels of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) related stigma among the Iranian population and the factors that contribute to the formation of stigma within the study population.

    Design: A quantitative research design was used in this research whereby participants completed a self-administrated questionnaire. A sample of 236 adults aged 20–65 were collected using non-probability sampling techniques.

    Setting: The study was carried out in the Sydney (Australia) metropolitan area and data were collected in 2007.

    Method: To obtain a desirable sample size, multivariate techniques including snowball were used. Herek’s (1986) functional approach to attitudes was used to analyze HIV/AIDS stigma in the study population.

    Results: The findings illustrate that HIV/AIDS-related stigma was dominant among the study population. Overall, participants had negative feelings toward people with HIV/AIDS (PWHA); they were in favour of punitive policies against them and were more likely to avoid having contact with people who had contracted HIV/AIDS. Multiple regression analysis revealed that both instrumental (fear of contamination) and symbolic factors (attitudes towards homosexuals and injecting drug user) independently contributed to HIV/AIDS stigma.

    Conclusion: The findings suggest that HIV/AIDS stigma has instrumental and symbolic function, and concentrating solely on instrumental (HIV/AIDS transmission routes) factors is less likely to address it properly. Therefore, educational campaigns to reduce HIV/AIDS stigma should also focus on symbolic factors. The findings contribute to the knowledge area of better understanding of HIV/AIDS stigma among ethnic minorities of similar characteristics. The results are valuable for the Iranian community, health service providers, health educators and policy makers.

UOW Authors


  •   Hassan Hosseinzadeh
  •   Hossain, Syeda Z. (external author)
  •   Niknami, Shamsaddin (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2012

Citation


  • Hosseinzadeh, H., Hossain, S. Z. & Niknami, S. (2012). Levels and functions of HIV/AIDS stigma within the Iranian community living in the Sydney metropolitan area. Health Education Journal, 71 (1), 115-128.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84856160465

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/sspapers/2481

Number Of Pages


  • 13

Start Page


  • 115

End Page


  • 128

Volume


  • 71

Issue


  • 1

Abstract


  • Objective: This study examines the levels of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) related stigma among the Iranian population and the factors that contribute to the formation of stigma within the study population.

    Design: A quantitative research design was used in this research whereby participants completed a self-administrated questionnaire. A sample of 236 adults aged 20–65 were collected using non-probability sampling techniques.

    Setting: The study was carried out in the Sydney (Australia) metropolitan area and data were collected in 2007.

    Method: To obtain a desirable sample size, multivariate techniques including snowball were used. Herek’s (1986) functional approach to attitudes was used to analyze HIV/AIDS stigma in the study population.

    Results: The findings illustrate that HIV/AIDS-related stigma was dominant among the study population. Overall, participants had negative feelings toward people with HIV/AIDS (PWHA); they were in favour of punitive policies against them and were more likely to avoid having contact with people who had contracted HIV/AIDS. Multiple regression analysis revealed that both instrumental (fear of contamination) and symbolic factors (attitudes towards homosexuals and injecting drug user) independently contributed to HIV/AIDS stigma.

    Conclusion: The findings suggest that HIV/AIDS stigma has instrumental and symbolic function, and concentrating solely on instrumental (HIV/AIDS transmission routes) factors is less likely to address it properly. Therefore, educational campaigns to reduce HIV/AIDS stigma should also focus on symbolic factors. The findings contribute to the knowledge area of better understanding of HIV/AIDS stigma among ethnic minorities of similar characteristics. The results are valuable for the Iranian community, health service providers, health educators and policy makers.

UOW Authors


  •   Hassan Hosseinzadeh
  •   Hossain, Syeda Z. (external author)
  •   Niknami, Shamsaddin (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2012

Citation


  • Hosseinzadeh, H., Hossain, S. Z. & Niknami, S. (2012). Levels and functions of HIV/AIDS stigma within the Iranian community living in the Sydney metropolitan area. Health Education Journal, 71 (1), 115-128.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84856160465

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/sspapers/2481

Number Of Pages


  • 13

Start Page


  • 115

End Page


  • 128

Volume


  • 71

Issue


  • 1