Internalized HIV-Stigma, Mental Health, Coping and Perceived Social Support among People Living with HIV/AIDS in Aizawl District—A Pilot Study


AIDS is a global pandemic, and persons with HIV/AIDS are stigmatized throughout the world in varying degrees. The current study is a pilot study for a further in-depth study to understand the psychological implications of living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). The study employed a quantitative approach with an aim to find out the level and prevalence of Internalized HIV Stigma (IHS) and to examine the mental health, coping strategies and perceived social support in a sample of 31 People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). Two-way classification of “Gender” (male and female) and three-way classification of “Level of IHS” (High IHS, Moderate IHS and Low IHS) on the dependent variables was employed, to elucidate the relationships between Internalized Stigma, Mental Health, Coping and perceived social support. The overall analysis revealed moderate levels of IHS (64.5%), depression (35.5%), and perceived social support (54.8%), and low level of anxiety (54.8%). It was also seen that majority (54.84%) employed emotion-oriented coping strategy. No significant gender differences were found in IHS. However, significant gender differences were found in levels of depression (p < 0.05) and Emotion-oriented coping (p < 0.05). Further analysis revealed that the two subscales of the IHS measure i.e. Stereotypes of HIV and Social Relationships stigma were significantly and positively correlated with anxiety (p < 0.05 and p < 0.01 respectively).

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Gohain, Z. & Halliday, M. (2014). Internalized HIV-Stigma, Mental Health, Coping and Perceived Social Support among People Living with HIV/AIDS in Aizawl District—A Pilot Study. Psychology, 5, 1794-1812. doi: 10.4236/psych.2014.515186.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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