An Exploratory Study of Stigma and Discrimination among People Living with HIV/ AIDS in Abuja Municipal Area Council, Nigeria

Chioma Oduenyi, Emmanuel Ugwa, Zimako Ojukwu, Jachike Ojukwu-Ajasigwe


This study examined the magnitude of HIV/AIDS stigma and discrimination among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC). A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted using both qualitative and quantitative methods to survey 100 PLWHA resident in AMAC-FCT. Participants were selected through a combination of two-stage and systematic random sampling technique using a table of random numbers. A 40-item structured questionnaire adapted from the HIV Stigma Scale and a semi-structured focus group discussion (FGD) guide were used to collect data. Quantitative data were coded and entered SPSS statistical software. Frequency tables were generated, and data subjected to descriptive and inferential statistics. Cross tabulations examined pattern of associations between respondent‘s characteristics while qualitative findings utilized content analysis along five specific themes to demonstrate the way HIV/AIDS stigma manifested among respondents. Participation was 100% and HIV/AIDS stigma prevalence was high at 67%, with mean age 33.01years (SD±5.94years) for respondents. Findings confirmed rejection of PLWHA by sexual partners, family members and friends, dismissal from work, decrease in the quality of health care services and sometimes outright denial of services. A high correlation was found between the scales and subscales of the HIV Stigma Scale with all correlation values reaching statistical significance (p =0.01). Regret for disclosure of status and ending social interaction by PLWHA was reported as consequences of disclosure and potential hindrance for disclosure which will encourage ongoing transmission of the virus. Our study provides evidence on stigma and discrimination of PLWHA in AMAC, FCT-Abuja in the face of limited evidence to drive HIV prevention interventions. Further studies should investigate other predictors and reasons for stigma and discrimination among this population. (Afr J Reprod Health 2019; 23[1]: 88-99).

Full Text:



Cervigni R, Dvorak I and Rogers JA. Assessing Low-Carbon Development in Nigeria: An Analysis of Four Sectors. World Bank Publications, 2013, p.359

National Population Commission [Nigeria] and ICF International. Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey 2013. Rockville, Maryland, USA: National Population Commission and ICF International.

Sule WF, Okonko IO, Yusuf OT, Donbraye E, Fadeyi A, Udeze AO and Alli JA. HIV-1 and -2 Antibodies among Children in Anyigba, Kogi State, Nigeria. Asian J Med Sci 2(4): 170-176, 2010

Monjok E, Smesny A and Essien EJ. HIV/AIDS-Related stigma and discrimination in Nigeria: Review for research studies and future directions for prevention strategies. Afr J Reprod Health. 2009; 13(3): 21–35.

Goffman E. Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity. New York: Simon &Shuster Inc.; 1963.

Cameron E. Legal rights, Human rights and AIDS: The first decade. Report from South Africa AIDS Analysis Afr. 1993;3:3–4.

Jayaraman KS. Indian State plans compulsory HIV testing, segregation and branding. Nature Med. 1998;4(4):378.

Zierler S, Cunningham WE, Andersen R, Shapiro MF, Nakazono TY, Morton S, Crystal S, Stein M, Turner B, St Clair P and Bozzette SA. Violence victimization after HIV infection in a US probability sample of Adults patients in Primary care. Am J Public Health. 2000;90(2):208–215.

Parker R and Aggleton P. HIV and AIDS-related Stigma and Discrimination: A Conceptual Framework and Implications for Action. Soc Sci Med. 2003;57(1):13-24.

Bamgboye EA. Introduction to research methods: University of Ibadan Nigeria; 1995. p.49.

Holloway I. Qualitative Research in Health Care: Open University Press; 2005. pg 61

Berger BE, Ferrans CE and Lashley FR. Measuring HIV stigma in people with HIV: psychometric assessment of the HIV Stigma Scale. ResearcNurs Health 2001, 24(6), 518–529.

Bunn J, Solomon S, Miller C and Forehand R: Measurement of Stigma in People with HIV: A reexamination of the HIV stigma scale, AIDs Edu Prev,19 (3), 198-208, 2007 retrieved from Accessed on 5th September 2017

Emlet C, Understanding Stigma and Disclosure among Older Adults Living with HIV/AIDs, University of Washington, Tacoma Annual conference of the Society forSocial Work and Research, San Antonio

Texas, 2006 retrieved from research/docs/sswr_2006_v2-4.pps 286.Accessed on 5th September 2017.

Bond V, Chase E and Aggelton P. Stigma, HIV/AIDS prevention, and mother to child transmission in Zambia. Evaluation and Program Planning. 2002;25: 242–356.

Kalichman SC and Simbayi L. HIV testing attitudes, AIDS stigma, and voluntary counseling and testing in a Black township in Cape Town, South Africa. Sexually Transmitted Infections. 2003; 79:442– 447.

Melchior R, Nemes MIB, Alencar TMD and Buchalla CM. Challenges of treatment adherence by people living with HIV/AIDS in Brazil." Revista De Saude Publica 2007. 41: 7.

Brickley DB, Hanh DLD, Nguyet LT, Mandel JS, Giang LT and Sohn AH. Community, Family, and

Partner-Related Stigma Experienced by Pregnant and Postpartum Women with HIV in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. AIDS Behav 2009. 13(6): 1197– 1204.

Bogart LM, Cowgill BO, Kennedy D, Ryan G, Murphy DA, Elijah J and Schuster MA HIV-related stigma among people with HIV and their families: A qualitative analysis. AIDS Behav 2008. 12(2): 244-254.

Wingood GM., Diclemente RJ, Mikhail I, McCree DH, Davies SL, Hardin JW, Peterson SH, Hook EW and Saag M. HIV Discrimination and the Health of Women Living with HIV." Women & Health 2007; 46(2-3): 99-112.

Odindo MA and Mwanthi MA. Role of Governmental and Non- Governmental Organizations in Mitigation of Stigma and Discrimination among HIV/AIDS Persons in Kibera, Kenya. East Afr J Pub Health 2008; 5(1): 1-5.

MacQuarrie K, Nyblade L, Philip F, Kwesigabo G and Mbwambo J. Gender Differences and the Experience of Stigma (Abstract No. THPE0618). AIDS 2006, XVI International AIDS Conference, Toronto, Canada 2006.

Adejumo AO. Perceived HIV stigmatization, HIV/AIDS cognition and personality as correlates of HIV self-disclosure among people living with HIV in Ibadan, Nigeria. Gender Behav 2011; 2: 3854-3869

Yebei VN, Fortenberry J and Ayuku DO. Felt stigma among people living with HIV/AIDS in rural and urban Kenya. Afr Health Sci. 2008;8 (2):97-102.

Undie C, Ziraba A., Madise N, Kebaso J and Kimani-Murage, E. 'If you start thinking positively, you won't miss sex': Narratives of sexual (in) activity among people living with HIV in Nairobi's informal settlements. Culture, Health & Sexuality 2009; 11(8): 767-782.

Parsons JT1, VanOra J, Missildine W, Purcell DWand Gomez CA. Positive and negative consequences of HIV disclosure among seropositive injection drug users. AIDS Educ Prev. 2004; 16(5):459-75.

Stangl AL, Lloyd JK, Brady LM, Holland CE and Baral S. A systematic review of interventions to reduce HIV-related stigma and discrimination from 2002 to 2013: how far have we come?J Int AIDS Soc. 2013; 16(3Suppl 2): 18734

Katz IT1, Ryu AE, Onuegbu AG, Psaros C, Weiser SD, Bangsberg DR, and Tsai AC. Impact of HIV-related stigma on treatment adherence: systematic review and meta-synthesis.J Int AIDS Soc. 2013; 16(Supplement 2):18640.


  • There are currently no refbacks.