Stigmatized Attitude of Healthcare Providers: A Barrier for Delivering Health Services to HIV Positive Patients

Document Type: Original article

Authors

1 Shiraz HIV/AIDS Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran;

2 Health Policy Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran;

3 Department of Sociology and Social Planning, School of Economy, Management and Social Sciences, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran;

4 Department of Epidemiology, School of public Health ,Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

Abstract

Background: Despite the success of developed countries in preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS, the disease is expanding in developing countries where an unfavorable attitude exists among people, health professionals and employees. This study aimed to assess the stigmatized attitude among health care providers toward people living with HIV (PLWHA).Methods: The study is a cross-sectional survey. The data were gathered using a structured questionnaire. The study sample included 575 health care providers of public and private hospitals in Shiraz. The data were gathered using a structured questionnaire in spring 2014. Data analysis was carried out using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences, version 21. Results: The most dominant attitude of the health care providers toward HIV/AIDS patients was related to fear (42.42%). According to the results of this study, there was a significant relationship between stigmatized attitude of the health care providers and their religious beliefs, society stigmatized attitude, and knowledge of transmission routes. The relationship between social stigmatized attitude of health care providers and their knowledge of transmission routes, with their willingness to provide services to patients is significant, as well (P<0.05). 39.6% and 46.2% of the respondents preferred not to provide services to the prostitutes and homosexual patients.Conclusion: Fear of contamination and social stigmatized attitude are the main impediments to dealing with patients and providing services to them. Hence, it seems that creating an effective knowledge about transmission and correcting the socio-cultural beliefs of health providers are two key strategies to tackle this problem.

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