Drivers of Young People’s Attitudes towards HIV/AIDS Stigma and Discrimination: Evidence from Ghana
Using data from the 2008 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey, this paper examines the drivers of young people’s attitudes towards HIV/AIDS stigma and discrimination in Ghana. Descriptive statistics and binary logistic regression were used to examine these drivers. The odds of low stigma and discrimination attitudes increased with higher education: thus, males [OR=11.04; 95% CI=4.59-26.54] and females [OR=5.12; 95% CI=2.41-11.28] with higher education were significantly more likely to express positive attitudes towards people living HIV. Controlling for beliefs, myths and knowledge about causes of HIV, the influence of education on HIV-related stigma among males and females reduces considerably but the odds remain statistically significant. Beliefs, myths and knowledge of HIV causes/prevention had varying significant effects on stigma. Ethnic, regional and religious differences also emerged in the results. The findings suggest that people with better and accurate knowledge about HIV, particularly its transmission have lower tendencies of showing HIV-related stigma and discrimination. Both formal and informal education on HIV should be pursued rigorously as part of the larger efforts at reducing HIV. Afr J Reprod Health 2013 (Special Edition); 17: 51-59).
Keywords: HIV/AIDS, stigma and discrimination, young people, Ghana