This study is designed to describe the HIV related stigmatizing attitude and practice among the health care workers in Nasarawa State, Northern Nigeria. This study is an analytical cross-sectional study. Multistage sampling technique was used to obtain a representative sample and structured self-administered questionnaire was used to collect relevant information. About half (40.9%) of the health care workers do not know their HIV status, 0.5% were positive and 5.2% refuse to disclose their HIV status. Only 1.7% of the health care workers reported giving confidential information to a patient's family member or relatives without the patient's consent in the last 6 months and 3.1% of health workers supported mandatory HIV testing for all health care providers. HIV related stigmatization attitude was highest among the Medical Doctors (OR = 2.21, C.I = 0.90 to 5.4) and the hospital orderlies (OR = 1.90, C.I = 0.83 to 4.40), those who work in tertiary hospitals OR = 2.39 (C.I = 1.37 to 4.18), female gender (OR = 0.92, C.I = 0.55 to 1.53), private hospitals (OR = 1.06, C.I = 0.61-1.83), urban areas (OR = 1.48, C.I = 0.83 to 2.66) and those that had recent HIV/AIDS related training or workshops (OR = 3.39, C.I = 0.34 to 34.13). The study concludes that HIV related stigmatization is mostly prevalent in tertiary facilities among the health care workers in Northern Nigeria. Interventions to address attitudes and cultural beliefs not necessarily scientific matters may be the key towards reduction of HIV related stigmatization among the health care workers in Northern Nigeria and other similarly low income populations.
Key words: HIV, stigma, health workers, attitude, practice, Northern Nigeria.
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