THURSDAY, Oct. 13, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Hispanic persons with HIV have a median stigma score of 31.7, and almost one-quarter report experiencing health care discrimination, according to research published in the Oct. 14 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Mabel Padilla, M.P.H., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed data from the Medical Monitoring Project, designed to report estimates of experiences and outcomes of adults diagnosed with HIV. Data from the 2018 to 2020 cycles were analyzed to examine self-reported stigma and health care discrimination among 2,690 adult Hispanic persons with HIV.

The researchers found that the median HIV stigma score was 31.7 on a scale of 0 to 100; women and American Indian or Alaska Native persons reported the highest scores (35.6 and 38.9, respectively). HIV stigma was mainly due to disclosure concerns — for example, fearing others will disclose one’s HIV status. Health care discrimination was experienced by 23 percent of Hispanic persons with HIV, and was experienced more frequently by Hispanic men than Hispanic women (23 versus 18 percent) and by Black or African American Hispanic persons than White Hispanic persons (28 versus 21 percent).

“This study underscores disparities in HIV stigma and health care discrimination experiences of Hispanic persons with HIV and the need to tailor HIV care efforts,” the authors write. “Eliminating stigma and discrimination is a national priority and will require person-, provider-, facility-, and community-level interventions.”

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