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HIV-related discrimination among grade six students in nine Southern African countries.

Maughan-Brown B, Spaull N - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: Small differences were found by gender.Importantly, we identified factors consistently associated with discrimination across the region: students with greater exposure to HIV information, better general HIV knowledge and fewer misconceptions about transmission of HIV via casual contact were less likely to report discrimination.Our study points toward the need for early interventions (grade six or before) to reduce stigma and discrimination among children, especially in schools situated in rural areas and poorer communities.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU), University of Cape Town, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

ABSTRACT

Background: HIV-related stigmatisation and discrimination by young children towards their peers have important consequences at the individual level and for our response to the epidemic, yet research on this area is limited.

Methods: We used nationally representative data to examine discrimination of HIV-positive children by grade six students (n = 39,664) across nine countries in Southern Africa: Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Descriptive statistics are used to compare discrimination by country, gender, geographic location and socioeconomic status. Multivariate logistic regression is employed to assess potential determinants of discrimination.

Results: The levels and determinants of discrimination varied significantly between the nine countries. While one in ten students in Botswana, Malawi, South Africa and Swaziland would "avoid or shun" an HIV positive friend, the proportions in Lesotho, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe were twice as high (approximately 20%). A large proportion of students believed that HIV positive children should not be allowed to continue to attend school, particularly in Zambia (33%), Lesotho (37%) and Zimbabwe (42%). The corresponding figures for Malawi and Swaziland were significantly lower at 13% and 12% respectively. Small differences were found by gender. Children from rural areas and poorer schools were much more likely to discriminate than those from urban areas and wealthier schools. Importantly, we identified factors consistently associated with discrimination across the region: students with greater exposure to HIV information, better general HIV knowledge and fewer misconceptions about transmission of HIV via casual contact were less likely to report discrimination.

Conclusions: Our study points toward the need for early interventions (grade six or before) to reduce stigma and discrimination among children, especially in schools situated in rural areas and poorer communities. In particular, interventions should focus on correcting misconceptions that HIV can be transmitted via casual contact.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Response to an HIV-positive status of a close friend.Proportion of grade 6 students that would “avoid or shun” a close friend who revealed that they were living with HIV by gender (Figure 1A), geographic location (Figure 1B) and wealth quartile (Figure 1C) including 95% confidence interval).
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pone-0102981-g001: Response to an HIV-positive status of a close friend.Proportion of grade 6 students that would “avoid or shun” a close friend who revealed that they were living with HIV by gender (Figure 1A), geographic location (Figure 1B) and wealth quartile (Figure 1C) including 95% confidence interval).

Mentions: Figure 1 illustrates the differences in proportions who would shun a close friend with HIV by gender (Figure 1A), by those attending schools situated in rural areas compared to large cities (Figure 1B), and between the richest and poorest 25% of students (Figure 1C). Generally, differences between boys and girls were small with slightly more boys than girls who reported discrimination, although these differences are only statistically significant in Botswana and South Africa. Much larger differences were found by geographic location and socioeconomic status. In most countries, significantly greater proportions of students living in rural areas compared to urban areas and poorer students compared to richer students reported discrimination. In Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland, discrimination appeared to be concentrated in the rural areas and among the poor with relatively few students in urban areas and in the top socioeconomic quartile in these countries reporting discrimination.


HIV-related discrimination among grade six students in nine Southern African countries.

Maughan-Brown B, Spaull N - PLoS ONE (2014)

Response to an HIV-positive status of a close friend.Proportion of grade 6 students that would “avoid or shun” a close friend who revealed that they were living with HIV by gender (Figure 1A), geographic location (Figure 1B) and wealth quartile (Figure 1C) including 95% confidence interval).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4126685&req=5

pone-0102981-g001: Response to an HIV-positive status of a close friend.Proportion of grade 6 students that would “avoid or shun” a close friend who revealed that they were living with HIV by gender (Figure 1A), geographic location (Figure 1B) and wealth quartile (Figure 1C) including 95% confidence interval).
Mentions: Figure 1 illustrates the differences in proportions who would shun a close friend with HIV by gender (Figure 1A), by those attending schools situated in rural areas compared to large cities (Figure 1B), and between the richest and poorest 25% of students (Figure 1C). Generally, differences between boys and girls were small with slightly more boys than girls who reported discrimination, although these differences are only statistically significant in Botswana and South Africa. Much larger differences were found by geographic location and socioeconomic status. In most countries, significantly greater proportions of students living in rural areas compared to urban areas and poorer students compared to richer students reported discrimination. In Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland, discrimination appeared to be concentrated in the rural areas and among the poor with relatively few students in urban areas and in the top socioeconomic quartile in these countries reporting discrimination.

Bottom Line: Small differences were found by gender.Importantly, we identified factors consistently associated with discrimination across the region: students with greater exposure to HIV information, better general HIV knowledge and fewer misconceptions about transmission of HIV via casual contact were less likely to report discrimination.Our study points toward the need for early interventions (grade six or before) to reduce stigma and discrimination among children, especially in schools situated in rural areas and poorer communities.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU), University of Cape Town, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

ABSTRACT

Background: HIV-related stigmatisation and discrimination by young children towards their peers have important consequences at the individual level and for our response to the epidemic, yet research on this area is limited.

Methods: We used nationally representative data to examine discrimination of HIV-positive children by grade six students (n = 39,664) across nine countries in Southern Africa: Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Descriptive statistics are used to compare discrimination by country, gender, geographic location and socioeconomic status. Multivariate logistic regression is employed to assess potential determinants of discrimination.

Results: The levels and determinants of discrimination varied significantly between the nine countries. While one in ten students in Botswana, Malawi, South Africa and Swaziland would "avoid or shun" an HIV positive friend, the proportions in Lesotho, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe were twice as high (approximately 20%). A large proportion of students believed that HIV positive children should not be allowed to continue to attend school, particularly in Zambia (33%), Lesotho (37%) and Zimbabwe (42%). The corresponding figures for Malawi and Swaziland were significantly lower at 13% and 12% respectively. Small differences were found by gender. Children from rural areas and poorer schools were much more likely to discriminate than those from urban areas and wealthier schools. Importantly, we identified factors consistently associated with discrimination across the region: students with greater exposure to HIV information, better general HIV knowledge and fewer misconceptions about transmission of HIV via casual contact were less likely to report discrimination.

Conclusions: Our study points toward the need for early interventions (grade six or before) to reduce stigma and discrimination among children, especially in schools situated in rural areas and poorer communities. In particular, interventions should focus on correcting misconceptions that HIV can be transmitted via casual contact.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus