Stigma is a common human reaction to disease. Throughout history many diseases have carried considerable stigma, including leprosy, tuberculosis, cancer, mental illness, and many sexually transmitted diseases. HIV/AIDS is only the latest disease to be stigmatized. This paper reviews 21 interventions that have explicitly attempted to decrease AIDS stigma both in the developed and developing countries and 9 studies that aim to decrease stigma related with other diseases. The studies selected met stringent evaluation criteria in order to draw common lessons for future development of interventions to combat stigma. This paper assesses published and reported studies through comparison of audiences, types of interventions, and methods used to measure change. Target audiences include both those living with or suspected of living with a disease and perpetrators of stigma. All interventions reviewed target subgroups within these broad categories. Types of programs include general information-based programs, contact with affected groups, coping skills acquisition, and counseling approaches. A limited number of scales and indices were used as indicators of change in AIDS stigma.
Brown, Lisanne, Lea Trujillo, and Kate Macintyre. 2001. "Interventions to reduce HIV/AIDS stigma: What have we learned?" Horizons Report. Washington, DC: Population Council.