Stigma Index of People Living with HIV in Québec

Initiative Summary

The Québec component of the Stigma Index for People Living with HIV (Index) will focus on understanding where stigma comes from by including and recognizing a broad diversity of profiles of people living with HIV (PLHIV) in Québec by highlighting the intersection of identities and life experience with HIV.

Initiative Objectives and Goals

The Stigma Index will implement solutions to reduce the internalized and anticipated stigma of people living with HIV, contributing to the reduction of stigma experienced by people living with HIV.

The Role of this Initiative to End the HIV Epidemic

Reducing the stigma of people living with HIV can contribute to people's well-being, increase adherence to HIV treatment, and reduce and/or prevent further HIV transmission.

Meaningful Engagement with People with Lived Experience

9 PLHIV were recruited and trained as Peer Research Associates (PRAs) on the project. They were the core of the project. They met and interviewed 281 people. Data collection in 2019 occurred in collaboration with eight community organizations: MIELS-Québec; BLITSS; Centre Sida Amitié; BRAS-Outaouais; GAP-VIES; Maison Plein-Coeur; and CASM.

Key performance indicators

Target audiences

People Living with HIV, social and community workers and healthcare professionals

Start Date
September 1, 2018
-
March 2022
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RESULTS

Data collection in 2019 occurred in collaboration with eight community organizations: MIELS-Québec; BLITSS; Centre Sida-Amitié; BRAS-Outaouais; GAP-VIES; Maison Plein-Cœur; and CASM. Nine peer research associates met with 281 people. A first analysis was carried out, then we organized a collective interpretation day of the research results on February 10, 2020 at UQAM with 35 people, including members of the project team and peer research associates. Five themes of analysis were identified and interpreted: internalized stigmatization; intersectionality (additive); disclosure; the fight against stigmatization/discrimination; and resilience. This meeting made it possible to outline the main lines for preparing the second phase of the project.

Results

We carried out a first analysis, then organized a collective interpretation day of the research results on February 10, 2020 at UQAM with 35 people, including members of the project team and peer research associates. We identified and interpreted five themes of analysis: internalized stigmatization; intersectionality (additive); disclosure; the fight against stigmatization/discrimination; and resilience. This meeting made it possible to outline the mainlines for preparing the second phase of the project.

We were concerned that half of the people we met affirmed that they were ashamed to be HIV positive. We noticed that some factors are associated with a lower level of internalized stigma, like having a higher level of emotional support, positive social interactions and resilience. Those are key points we can work on within our communities.

The good news is more than half of our participants consider themselves to be resilient, and this is not associated with socio-demographic characteristics such as language, education, income, relationship status, gender identity or sexual orientation. Thus, resilience is associated with what a person experiences and how this person experiences it.

 

For more, see our webinar, or  some results and methodology ideas about intersectional stigma from our CAHR2020 poster, or visit the project's website.

Insights

Challenges

"But I also learn from the women after hearing their stories. I put them into practice. ‘Cause they teach me. I teach them. They learn from me." —Valérie, a BSC Collaborative member