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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 44  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 373-377
Stigma, discrimination, and domestic violence experienced by women living with HIV: A cross-sectional study from western India

1 Department of Community Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Gotri, Vadodara, Gujarat, India
2 Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Medical College Baroda, Vadodara, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kedar G Mehta
Department of Community Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Gotri, Vadodara - 390 021, Gujarat
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijcm.IJCM_136_19

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Background: In India, social issues such as stigma and discrimination are still experienced by many women living with HIV (WLHIV) at various levels such as family, community, or health care settings even after a decline trend in HIV prevalence. Objectives: To assess stigma, discrimination, and domestic violence among WLHIV attending an antiretroviral therapy (ART) center and its association with unsafe sexual practices. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was carried out among WLHIV attending an ART center of a tertiary care hospital after obtaining approval from the institutional ethics committee. An interview schedule was used to collect data from WLHIV selected by systematic random sampling method on the day of interview. Data were collected after taking their written informed consent using a semistructured validated study instrument. Stigma and discrimination was assessed by a set of 7 and 11 closed-ended dichotomous–response questions, respectively. We measured self-reported occurrence of domestic violence and unsafe sexual practice. Results: A total of 135 WLHIV were enrolled in this study. As high as 81% perceived stigma in their daily life while 41% reported to be discriminated. Domestic violence was experienced by 50.3% of the respondents. Majority of them (three-fourths) reported the type of violence to be physical as opposed to a quarter reporting sexual violence. Stigma, discrimination, and domestic violence were significantly associated with unsafe sexual practices. Conclusion: Social evils in the form of stigma, discrimination, and domestic violence are still faced by a remarkable proportion of WLHIV, and it has been found to be associated with unsafe sexual practices.

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