Internalized HIV and Drug Stigmas: Interacting Forces Threatening Health Status and Health Service Utilization Among People with HIV Who Inject Drugs in St. Petersburg, Russia

Sarah K. Calabrese, Sara E. Burke, John F. Dovidio, Olga S. Levina, Anneli Uusküla, Linda M. Niccolai, Robert Heimer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Marked overlap between the HIV and injection drug use epidemics in St. Petersburg, Russia, puts many people in need of health services at risk for stigmatization based on both characteristics simultaneously. The current study examined the independent and interactive effects of internalized HIV and drug stigmas on health status and health service utilization among 383 people with HIV who inject drugs in St. Petersburg. Participants self-reported internalized HIV stigma, internalized drug stigma, health status (subjective rating and symptom count), health service utilization (HIV care and drug treatment), sociodemographic characteristics, and health/behavioral history. For both forms of internalized stigma, greater stigma was correlated with poorer health and lower likelihood of service utilization. HIV and drug stigmas interacted to predict symptom count, HIV care, and drug treatment such that individuals internalizing high levels of both stigmas were at elevated risk for experiencing poor health and less likely to access health services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-97
Number of pages13
JournalAIDS and Behavior
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Keywords

  • HIV
  • Health
  • Health services
  • Injection drug use
  • Russia
  • Stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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