Considerations for Culturally Appropriate HIV/AIDS Education Strategies in Belize: An Analytical Study Exploring the Relationship Between Knowledge and Stigma

Colin W. McInnes, Treena R. Orchard, Eric Druyts, Reon Baird, Wendy Zhang, Robert S. Hogg, Pamela VanDeusen

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The stigma associated with HIV/AIDS is a global problem and particularly concerning in countries such as Belize where the prevalence of the disease is high. This exploratory study examines factors associated with HIV-related stigma to determine if low HIV knowledge is a contributing factor.
METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was administered to participants in San Ignacio and in the rural locale of Bullet Tree. Each survey contained 15 HIV-related knowledge questions and a three question stigma scale. Knowledge-based scores and socio-demographic characteristics were compared in a multivariate logistic model to determine factors associated with HIV-related stigma.
RESULTS: A total of 92 surveys were completed. High stigma answers were found among participants with low incomes (p=0.010) and low HIV-related knowledge (p<0.001). High stigma was also associated with living in a rural community (p=0.020) and the absence of a high school education (p=0.020).
CONCLUSION: Strategies to reduce HIV stigma in Belize should include the expansion of HIV-related education programs.

KEYWORDS: HIV/AIDS; stigma; knowledge; education; Belize

Full text (PDF, 208KB)

McInnes CW, Orchard TR, Druyts E, Baird R, Zhang W, Hogg RS, VanDeusen P. Considerations for Culturally Appropriate HIV/AIDS Education Strategies in Belize: An Analytical Study Exploring the Relationship Between Knowledge and Stigma. UBCMJ. 2010 1(2):13-17.