Depressive Symptoms Mediate the Effect of HIV-Related Stigmatization on Medication Adherence Among HIV-Infected Men Who Have Sex with Men

Luke D. Mitzel, Peter A Vanable, Jennifer L. Brown, Rebecca A. Bostwick, Shannon M. Sweeney, Michael P. Carey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


This study tested the hypothesis that depressive symptoms would mediate the association of HIV-related stigma to medication adherence. We recruited HIV-infected men who have sex with men (MSM; N = 66; 66 % White, 23 % African-American) from an outpatient infectious disease clinic, and asked them to complete self-report measures. Mediational analyses showed that depressive symptoms fully mediated the association between HIV-related stigma and adherence. That is, stigma-related experiences were positively associated with depressive symptoms and negatively associated with adherence, and, in the final model, depressive symptoms remained a significant correlate of adherence while stigma did not. A test of the indirect effect of stigma on adherence through depressive symptoms was also significant (unstandardized b = −0.19; bootstrap 95 % CI −0.45 to −0.01). These results highlight the importance of treating depressive symptoms in interventions aiming to improve medication adherence among HIV-infected MSM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1454-1459
Number of pages6
JournalAIDS and Behavior
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 6 2015



  • Depressive symptoms
  • HIV
  • Medication adherence
  • MSM
  • Stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Social Psychology

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