Impacts of community HIV transmission knowledge and fear on stigmatising reactions in China, 2003
Jiajian Chen, East West Center
Minja K. Choe, East West Center
Shengli Chen, National Population and Family Planning Commission of China
Shikun Zhang, National Population and Family Planning Commission of China
This paper assesses the effects of individual-level and community-level HIV transmission knowledge and fear on individual stigmatizing reactions toward people living with HIV/AIDS (PWA) in China. Data for the present study are derived from a sample survey of 12,270 men and women aged 15-49 of seven provinces/municipalities, conducted by China’s Population and Family Planning Commission in 2003. Multilevel regression analyses illustrate the independent explanatory importance of individual and community effects of HIV knowledge and fear on individual stigmatizing reactions. The results show that HIV stigmatizing reactions are associated with community-level HIV knowledge and fear, net of respondent’s own HIV knowledge and fear. The findings suggest that individual stigmatizing reactions are partially shaped through social learning and social influence. Education and intervention programs that aim at reducing stigmatizing reactions to PWA will need to pay special attention to inaccurate HIV beliefs and fear, as well as related social and community influences.