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Systematic review of stigma reducing interventions for African/ Black diasporic women

Mona Loutfy, Wangari Tharao, Carmen Logie, Muna A Aden, Lori A Chambers, Wei Wu, Marym Abdelmaseh, Liviana Calzavara

Abstract


Introduction: Literature indicates that racism, sexism, homophobia and HIV-related stigma have adverse impacts on health, well-being, and quality of life among HIV-positive women of African descent (African/Black diaspora). However, limited evidence exists on the effectiveness of interventions aimed at reducing stigma tailored for these women. This study systematically reviewed randomized controlled trials (RCTs), non-randomized observational and quasi-experimental studies evaluating the effectiveness of interventions aimed at reducing stigma experienced by this population.

Methods: The Cochrane methodology was used to develop a search strategy in consultation with a librarian scientist. Databases searched included the Cochrane Library, Ovid EMBASE, PsycInfo, and 10 others. Two reviewers independently assessed the studies for potential relevance and conducted the Cochrane grading of RCTs to assess risk of bias and the Newcastle–Ottawa scale to assess the quality of non-randomized studies. Eligible papers were selected if they employed an intervention design with African/Black diasporic women living with HIV as the target population and had a primary outcome of stigma reduction.

Results: Of the five studies that met all of the eligibility criteria, four demonstrated the effectiveness of interventions in reducing HIV-related stigma. Only two of the five studies were designed specifically for HIV-positive African/Black diasporic women. Limitations included the absence of interventions addressing other forms of stigma and discrimination (e.g. gender discrimination, racism, heterosexism).

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that there are limited interventions designed to address multiple forms of stigma, including gender and racial discrimination, experienced by HIV-positive African/Black diasporic women.

Keywords: HIV; women; African diaspora; stigma; intersectionality; interventions.

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(Published: 8 April 2015)

Citation: Loutfy M et al. Journal of the International AIDS Society 2015, 18:19835

http://www.jiasociety.org/index.php/jias/article/view/19835 | http://dx.doi.org/10.7448/IAS.18.1.19835




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