Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



AIDS Patient Care and STDs


Volume 27, Issue 5

Inclusive Pages



Attitude of Health Personnel; HIV Infections--therapy; Patient Acceptance of Health Care--statistics & numerical data; Professional-Patient Relations; Social Stigma


Retention in HIV treatment may reduce morbidity and mortality, as well as slow the epidemic. Myriad barriers to retention include stigma, homophobia, structural barriers, transportation, and insurance. The purpose of this study was to evaluate patient perceptions of provider attitudes among HIV-infected persons within a state-wide public hospital system in Louisiana. A convenience sample of patients attending HIV clinics throughout the state participated in an anonymous interview. Factors associated with negative perceptions of care were evaluated in conjunction with a validated stigma measure. Factors associated with having a delayed entry into or break in care were evaluated in conjunction with perceived stigma. Between 2/1/09 and 7/31/11, 479 participants were interviewed and had sufficient data available, of whom 53.4% were male, 79.3% were African American, and 29.4% reported a break or delayed entry into HIV care of >1 year. A break in care was associated with perceiving that the doctor or health professionals do not listen carefully most or all of the time (p<0.01), having an elevated stigma score (p<0.05), and indicating that providers dislike caring for HIV-infected people (p<0.01). Women were more likely to have an elevated stigma score than men (p<0.01), as were participants over 30 (p<0.01); those with a gay/bisexual orientation (p<0.05) were less likely to have an elevated stigma score. Those with a break in care were less likely to have Medicaid (p<0.05). Providers play a key role in the retention of HIV-infected persons in care and are critical to improving outcomes and slowing the epidemic. Development of novel approaches to reduce stigma are imperative in improving retention.


This is a copy of an article published in AIDS Patient Care and STDs © 2013 copyright Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.; AIDS Patient Care and STDs is available online at:

Peer Reviewed


Open Access