Correlation between Stigma and Adherence to ART among HIV-Po
Despite the prominence of youth on the global agenda, young people are often left behind in national HIV responses. UNAIDS estimates indicate that AIDS-related deaths among young people are increasing. One of the reasons for this is the poor prioritization of adolescents in national plans for scale-up of HIV testing, treatment, and counseling services. The objectives of the current study were to:

(1) To understand the social issues such as stigma and disclosure faced by them

(2) To document the adherence to ART among them and study the effect of stigma on it. The cross-sectional study was conducted at HIV clinic, at ART Centre, Surat (Tertiary Care Level Institute) among adolescents between age-group 13-19 years during December-2015 to February-2016.

By purposive sampling following desk review of Hospital data, 105 participants were enrolled. Frequency distribution, Factor analysis, and Correlation were utilized for analysis. Around 80% feared that they will lose their friends if they came to know about their serostatus. Factor analysis yielded 2 factors- Blaming and Distancing. These two-factor scores were found significantly correlated to adherence to ART. Only 7% chose to share the status with friends outside the family.

The study findings suggest that there is a need for prioritizing adolescent health among seropositive as their difficulties are different than children and adults in handling social issues like stigma due to their age and peer pressure. The lack of knowledge and fear of stigma among them if not addressed may lead to poor adherence to treatment and therefore, clinical complications.