Assessing HIV related stigma and associated factors among antiretroviral treatment clients in the Tano North Municipality

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September, 2019
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Aims and Objectives: Several studies have identified HIV related stigma across the globe as a key factor impeding HIV identification, prevention and treatment efforts. This study was designed to determine the influence of HIV/AIDS related stigma on anti- retroviral treatment adherence among persons living with HIV assessing antiretroviral services at the St. John of God and Bomaa Government Hospital in the Tano North Municipality, Ghana. Methods: A cross sectional quantitative approach was adopted as the study design. Purposive sampling method was used to select 156 clients with the aid of a structured questionnaire as data collection tool. Data was analyzed using SPSS and STATA (regression analysis) for frequencies and Chi-square tests were calculated and p-values of less than 0.05 were accepted as being statistically significant for all associations. Results: The findings revealed that, 53% of PLWHIV agreed that HIV related stigma was high. Isolation (33%), verbal stigma (68%), loss of identity (11%) and loss of access to resources (8%) were forms of stigma experienced by PLWHIV. Inadequate information and fear of casual transmission were identified as cause of HIV related stigma. Logistic regression analysis involving Isolation from social gathering (OR: 2.985: CI: 1.06-7.67, P-value =0.0038), was significantly associated with adherence to antiretroviral treatment. Conclusion: The study concludes that HIV related stigma influence ART medication adherence among persons living with HIV at the St. John of God and Bomaa Government Hospital.
A dissertation submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, (KNUST), in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Mph (Health Promotion and Education).
HIV, Antiretroviral treatment, Clients, Tano North Municipality