PloS one 2016 Nov 811(11) e0165624 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0165624
This study examined whether the impact of HIV stigma on psychosocial status and substance use among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) differed by their socio-economic status (SES) in a Chinese setting. A total of 2,987 PLWHA were recruited from 12 sites with the highest number of cumulative HIV incidence in Guangxi, China. Participants were asked to provide information regarding their psychosocial status (e.g., depression, anxiety), history of substance use (e.g., tobacco, alcohol and drug) and SES (e.g., education, monthly income, residence type, and job category). By employing stratified multivariate regression analyses, we assessed stratum-specific impacts of HIV stigma on PLWHA’s psychosocial status and behaviors of substance use based upon participants’ SES. The impact of HIV stigma differed significantly on psychosocial status across SES gradients. Psychosocial status among people with higher education was more sensitive to HIV stigma compared with PLWHA who were less educated. The odds of substance use behaviors were higher among people with better monthly income than their low-income peers. Our study is the first paper to document the paucity of SES stratified analyses between HIV stigma and psychosocial status and substance use among PLWHA in China. We call for tailored intervention programs to target PLWHA with different backgrounds and characteristics in order to help them to better manage their seropositivity.