HIV stigma is a major barrier to HIV care and treatment among people living with HIV (PLWH). Evidence suggests that expansion in antiretroviral therapy (ART) may reduce stigma. However, there are limited longitudinal studies examining temporal trends in HIV stigma in sub-Saharan Africa in the Undetectable = Untransmittable (U = U) era. We longitudinally assessed temporal trends in self-reported experienced stigma and the association of experienced stigma with ART adherence and viral suppression among PLWH enrolled in the African Cohort Study (AFRICOS). AFRICOS is an ongoing cohort study enrolling PLWH in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Nigeria. As of 1 March 2020, 2937 PLWH enrolled in AFRICOS and had available data. In 2013, 22% of participants reported stigma at the enrollment visit and by 2018 the prevalence decreased to 1% overall and was below 2% for all countries. However, there was not a statistically significant change in stigma prevalence in our longitudinal models. In adjusted models, experiencing stigma was associated with a 0.67 decreased odds of ART Adherence (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.56–0.80) and a 0.64 decreased odds of viral suppression (95% CI: 0.73–0.99). HIV-associated stigma was associated with poor self-reported ART adherence and unsuppressed viral load.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||AIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV|
|State||Published - 2022|
- viral suppression