Human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndromes (HIV/AIDS)-related stigmatization and discrimination have been acknowledged as an impediment to mitigating the HIV epidemic and little is known about its contributory factors in Nigeria. Therefore, this study investigated factors associated with HIV/AIDS perceived stigmatization and discrimination among women of reproductive age in Nigeria. This was a retrospective analysis of data on 15,639 women of reproductive age (15 to 49 years) collected during the National HIV/AIDS and Reproductive Health Survey (NARHS Plus II) conducted in 2012. Perceived stigma was measured using specific questions and scored as follows: less or equal to 3 points (low stigma), 4 to 6 points (moderate stigma) and greater than or equal to 7 points (high stigma). Data were summarized using descriptive statistics while chi square test was used to assess significance of association of qualitative variables and level of stigma. A multinomial logistic regression model was fitted to determine variables associated with stigma at 5% level of significance. The mean age of women was 29 ± 9.54 years. About 44, 21 and 35% reported low, moderate and high stigma, respectively. Level of education and HIV knowledge were significantly associated with perceived stigmatization (p<0.001). Respondents with poor HIV knowledge were three times more likely to report high level of stigma (odd ratio (OR) = 3.38, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 2.54 - 4.49, p< 0.001). In addition, respondents with primary education were 4 times more likely to report high stigma when compared with those that have higher education (OR = 3.80, 95% CI = 2.36-6.13, p <0.001). Perceived HIV/AIDS-related stigmatization was common among women of reproductive age in Nigeria. Low education level, condom and antiretroviral drug awareness were significantly related to perceived stigmatization among women of reproductive age in Nigeria.
Key words: Perceived stigmatization and discrimination, human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndromes (HIV/AIDS), women of reproductive age.
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