Measuring HIV stigma: Existing knowledge and gaps
The growing recognition of the reduction of HIV stigma as central to effective programs across the HIV/AIDS prevention to care and treatment continuum is leading to an increasing number of programs focused on stigma reduction. Correctly evaluating the impact of these programs depends on having a good set of measures that effectively capture and distinguish the complexities of HIV stigma. This paper reviews the existing literature on HIV stigma measurement and identifies key gaps that remain. There is a need for measures at the general population level that are unambiguous about the cause of the stigmatizing behavior, that capture enacted stigma (discrimination), and that can distinguish compound (layered) stigma. In addition, studies are needed in a wider variety of contexts and on a larger scale that include a comprehensive set of measures to capture the complexity of HIV-related stigma and ensure appropriate evaluation of stigma-reduction programs.