Methods: This study utilized data from an NIH-funded Suubi-Maka (Hope for families) study that was implemented in Uganda. A total of 346 caregivers (n=71 males and n=275 females), with their children (dyads), participated in the study. HIV-related stigma was measured using 12-items that assess caregivers’ attitudes and beliefs towards people living with HIV. Bivariate and multiple linear regression analyses were conducted to ascertain the individual and family-level factors associated with HIV-related stigma among caregivers.
Findings: Of the total sample, 79.5% were female and 20.5% were males. The overall mean age was 45.7 (SD=14.61). Female caregivers reported higher scores on the stigma measure compared to male caregivers (mean = 29.10 versus 26.2). Results from multiple regression analysis indicate that age (b= 0.085, 95% CI=0.035, - 0.135, p<.05), gender (b= 2.284, 95% CI=0.511 – 4.056, p<.05), and family cohesion (b= 0.288, 95% CI= 0.059 – 0.517, p<.05), were associated with HIV related stigma among caregivers.
Implications and Conclusions: The caregiver-child relationship is central to a child's development. Our findings indicate that older caregivers, female caregiver and family cohesion were all significant predictors for HIV-related stigma among caregivers. HIV-related stigma among caregivers represents a double burden for children and adolescents, already growing up as orphans due to HIV/AIDS. Taken together, these findings point to the need to integrate family-level stigma reduction components in programing caring for children and families impacted by HIV in low resources settings, such as those in sub-Saharan Africa.