Effect of a Community Popular Opinion Leader Hiv/Sti Intervention on Stigma in Urban, Coastal Peru

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HIV prevention, Peru, popular opinion leader intervention, stigma

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Evaluating interventions that reduce HIV stigma may help to craft effective stigma-reduction programs. This study evaluates the effects of a community popular opinion leader HIV/STI intervention on stigma in urban, coastal Peru. Mixed effects modeling was used to analyze data on 3,049 participants from the Peru site of the NIHM collaborative trial. Analyses looked at differences between the comparison and intervention groups on a stigma index from baseline to 12- and 24-month follow-up. Sub-analyses were conducted on heterosexual-identified men (esquineros), homosexual-identified men (homosexuales), and socially marginalized women (movidas). Compared to participants in the comparison group, intervention participants reported lower levels of stigma at 12- and 24- month follow-up. Similar results were found within esquineros and homosexuales. No significant differences were found within movidas. Findings suggest that interventions designed to normalize HIV prevention behaviors and HIV communication can reduce HIV-related stigma and change community norms.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

AIDS and Behavior, v. 15, issue 5, p. 930-937