Self stigma levels very high in Kenya 2010

11 Jun 2013

Between 40 - 50% of PLHIV interviewed reported feeling guilty or ashamed about their status.

The study was conducted between December 2009 and March 2010, and involved a sample of 1086 PLHIV from five regions.  After data cleaning and analysis, 1073 transcripts were deemed to be complete enough for inclusion. Nearly 30% of respondents reported experiencing some form of stigma and/or discrimination as a result of their HIV positive status with no significant gender difference.  Of those respondents who had had experienced stigma and/or discrimination for reasons other than their HIV status, many belonged to key populations. Internalised stigma is prevalent:  within the  last year  50.4% of respondents feeling  they should blame themselves for being HIV positive, slightly less than 50% feeling low self esteem, and (46.1%) feeling guilty or ashamed (43.8%) about their status. Nearly one in five (17%) respondents reported feeling suicidal. The most frequent decisions made in the last 12 months because of HIV status were not to have more children and not to have sex (54.7% and 31.2% respectively).