HIV-related stigma and discrimination: a study of health care workers in Banda Aceh, Indonesia

  • Harapan Harapan
  • Syarifah Feramuhawan
  • Hendra Kurniawan
  • Samsul Anwar
  • Mohd. Andalas
  • Mohammad B. Hossain
Abstract viewed: 2814 times
PDF downloaded: 685 times


Background: The aim of this study was to identify the level of stigmatized and discriminatory attitudes towards people living with HIV (PLHIV) among health care workers (HCWs) and the factors that influenced these attitudes.

Methods: This research was conducted at Dr. Zainoel Abidin General Hospital Banda Aceh, Indonesia. A cross-sectional study design was adopted for this research. Eighty nine HCWs were included in this study and they were selected purposively. Correlation analysis, analysis of variance and independent sample t test analysis was used according to the type of data. Finally, a multiple linear regression model was used to identify the predictor factor for stigmatized and discriminatory attitudes.

Results: We found that the level of stigmatized and discriminatory attitudes was high. Bivariate analysis showed that type of HCW, education, marital status, knowledge on transmission and prevention of HIV and irrational fear of HIV transmission were significant related with stigmatized attitudes (p < 0.05). Type of HCW, marital status, age, knowledge on transmission and prevention of HIV and irrational fear of HIV transmission indicated significant (p < 0.05) differences in the levels of discriminatory attitudes. A multiple linear regression model identified type of HCW and irrational fear of HIV transmission correlated with stigmatized attitudes (R2 = 0.230) and knowledge on transmission and prevention of HIV correlated with discriminatory attitudes (R2 = 0.119).

Conclusion: Irrational fear of HIV transmission and type of HCW are significant predictors to stigmatized attitudes; knowledge on transmission and prevention of HIV is a predictor to discriminatory attitudes towards PLHIV among HCWs. (Med J Indones. 2013;22:22-9)

Keywords: Discrimination, discriminatory attitudes, HIV, PLHIV, stigmatized attitudes.


  1. Monjok E, Smesny A, Essien EJ. HIV/AIDS - related stigma and discrimination in Nigeria: review of research studies and future directions for prevention strategies. Afr J Reprod Health. 2009;13:21–35.

  2. Aggleton P, Wood K, Malcolm A, et al. HIV-related stigma, discrimination and human rights violations: case studies of successful programmes. Geneva, Switzerland: UNAIDS; 2005.

  3. UNAIDS. HIV and AIDS-related stigmatization, discrimination and denial: forms, contexts and determinants. Research studies from Uganda and India [Internet]. Geneva, Switzerland; 2000 [cited 20 Agt 2012]. Available from:

  4. Parker R, Aggleton P, Attawell K, et al. HIV/AIDS-related stigma and discrimination: a conceptual framework and an agenda for action. Horizon Program. New York: Population Council; 2002.

  5. Health Policy Initiative, Task Order 1. Measuring the degree of HIV-related stigma and discrimination in health facilities and providers: working report. Washington, DC: Futures; 2010.

  6. Parker R, Bajenja E, Karamagi E, et al. AIDS-felated stigma: perceptions of family care givers and health volunteers in Western Uganda. World Health and Population Report; 2007.

  7. Oe A. HIV related stigmatizing attitude and practice among health care workers in Northern Nigeria. J Infect Dis Immun. 2011;3:226–32.

  8. UNAIDS. HIV-related stigma and discrimination: a summary of recent literature [Internet]. 2009 [cited 20 Agt 2012]. Available from: /2009/20091130_stigmasummary_en.pdf.

  9. Hossain MB, Kippax S. Stigmatized attitudes toward people living with HIV in Bangladesh: health care workers’ perspectives. Asia Pac J Public Health. 2011;3:171–82.

  10. Bharat S, Aggleton P, Tyrer P. India. HIV and AIDS-related discrimination, stigmatization and denial. Geneva: Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS; 2001. p. 16–7.

  11. Hossain MB, Kippax S. HIV-related discriminatory attitudes of healthcare workers in Bangladesh. J Health Popul Nutr. 2010;28:199–207.

  12. Li L, Zunyou W, Sheng W, et al. HIV-related stigma in health care settings: a survey of service providers in China. AIDS Patient Care STDs. 2007;21:753–62.

  13. Mahendra VS, Gilborn L, George B, et al. Reducing AIDS-related stigma and siscrimination in Indian hospitals. Horizons Program, Tulane University; May 2006.

  14. Ullah AKMA. HIV/AIDS-related stigma and discrimination: a study of health care providers in Bangladesh. J Inter Assoc Physic AIDS Care. 2011;2:97–104.

  15. Reis C, Heisler M, Amowitz LL, et al. Discriminatory attitudes and practices by health workers toward patients with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria. PLoS Med. 2005;2:e246.

  16. Banteyerga H, Kidanu A, Nyblade L, et al. Exploring HIV and AIDS stigma and related discrimination in Ethiopia: causes, manifestations, consequences, and coping mechanisms. Addis Ababa: Miz-Hasab Research Center; 2004.

  17. Wong LP, Syuhada ARN. Stigmatization and discrimination towards people living with or affected by HIV/AIDS by the general public in Malaysia. Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health. 2011;42:1119-29.

  18. Andrewin A, Chien LY. Stigmatization of patients with HIV/AIDS among doctors and nurses in Belize. AIDS Patient Care and STDs. 2008;22:897–906.

  19. Solomon P, Guenter D, Stinson D. People living with HIV as educators of health professionals. AIDS Patient Care STDs. 2005;19:840–7.

  20. Mulaudzi MV, Pengpid S, Peltzer K. Nurses’ knowledge, attitudes, and coping related to HIV and AIDS in a rural hospital in South Africa. Ethno Med. 2011;5:25–32.

  21. Ulasi CI, Preko PO, Baidoo JA, et al. HIV/AIDS-related stigma in Kumasi, Ghana. Health Place. 2009;15:255–62.

  22. Kopacz DR, Grossman LS, Klamen DL. Medical students and AIDS: knowledge, attitudes and implications for education. Health Educ Res. 1999;14:1–6.

  23. Deacon H, Boulle A. Commentary: factors affecting HIV/AIDS-related stigma and discrimination by medical professionals. Int J Epidemiol. 2006;36:185–6.

  24. Kalichman SC, Simbayi LC, Jooste S, et al. Development of a brief scale to measure AIDS-related stigma in South Africa. AIDS Behav. 2005;9:135–43.

  25. Kalichman SC, Simbayi LC. Traditional beliefs about the cause of AIDS and AIDS-related stigma in South Africa. AIDS Care. 2004;16:572–80.

  26. Walusimbi M, Okonsky JG. Knowledge and attitude of nurses caring for patients with HIV/AIDS nursing in Uganda. J Appl Nurs Res. 2004;17:92–3.

  27. Sadow D, Ryder M, Webster D. Is education of health professionals encouraging stigma towards the mentally ill? J Ment Health. 2002;11:657–65.

  28. Aggleton P. HIV and AIDS-related discrimination, stigmatization and denial. Comparative analysis: research studies from India and Uganda. Geneva, Switzerland: UNAIDS; 2000.

How to Cite
Harapan H, Feramuhawan S, Kurniawan H, Anwar S, Andalas M, Hossain MB. HIV-related stigma and discrimination: a study of health care workers in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Med J Indones [Internet]. 2013Feb.1 [cited 2020Feb.27];22(1):22-9. Available from:
Community Research