Export file:


  • RIS(for EndNote,Reference Manager,ProCite)
  • BibTex
  • Text


  • Citation Only
  • Citation and Abstract

Factors Associated with HIV Related Stigma among College Students in the Midwest

1 Department of Social and Public Health, Ohio University, Athens OH 45701
2 Department of International Development Studies, Ohio University
3 Department of Social Medicine, Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, Ohio University
4 Department of Communication, University of Rio Grande, Rio Grande OH 45674

In general, U.S. college students have low perceived susceptibility of acquiring HIV infection while 15–25 percent of youth have had negative perceptions towards HIV positive individuals. Factors associated with HIV stigma among college students were examined in a convenience sample of 200 students. Descriptive and inferential statistics were utilized to summarize the data. Only four percent of participants responded correctly to HIV transmission knowledge items. HIV transmission knowledge scores were significantly higher for participants who were single with partner and those who resided outside university residential dorms (p < 0.05). There was a significant negative correlation between composite HIV knowledge scores and stigma scores r = −0.18 (p < 0.05). After adjusting for confounders, a marginal significant negative linear relationship emerged (β = −0.09, p = 0.06) between HIV knowledge and stigma. HIV prevention education among college students needs to be addressed with nuance to minimize HIV knowledge gaps, stigma and student risk perception that impacts HIV prevention and stigma against those living with HIV.
  Article Metrics

Keywords AIDS; college; HIV knowledge; Stigma; sexual health

Citation: Caroline Kingori, Mavis Adwoa Nkansah, Zelalem Haile, Kay-Anne Darlington, Tania Basta. Factors Associated with HIV Related Stigma among College Students in the Midwest. AIMS Public Health , 2017, 4(4): 347-363. doi: 10.3934/publichealth.2017.4.347


  • 1. Joint United Nations Program on HIV/ADIS (UNAIDS). Fact sheet 2015: Global statistics, 2015. Available from: http://www.unaids.org/sites/default/files/media_asset/20150901_FactSheet_2015_en.pdf.
  • 2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV Cost-effectiveness, 2017. Available from: http://www.who.int/hiv/pub/progressreports/2016-progress-report/en/.
  • 3. Earnshaw VA, Chaudoir SR (2009) From conceptualizing to measuring HIV stigma: A review of HIV stigma mechanism measures. AIDS Behav 13: 1160-1177.    
  • 4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2015a) HIV in the United States: at a glance. Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/statistics/overview/ataglance.html.
  • 5. World Health Organization (2017) Prevent HIV, test and treat all - WHO support for country impact. Progress report 2016. Available from: http://www.who.int/hiv/pub/progressreports/2016-progress-report/en/.
  • 6. Murray A, Huang MJ, Hardnett F, et al. (2014) Strengthening HIV knowledge and awareness among undergraduate students at historically black colleges and universities. J Health Disparities Res Pract 7: 33-45.
  • 7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2015b) HIV among youth. Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pdf/risk_youth_fact_sheet_final.pdf.
  • 8. Ellis WL (2014) Perceptions of HIV/AIDS-STD risk among first-year African-American college students: The decomposition of self-esteem to promote a positive behavioral change in risk-reduction practices. Soc Work Ment Health 12: 155-173.    
  • 9. Hou SI (2004) Objective and subjective knowledge and HIV testing among college students. J Health Educ 35: 328-337.
  • 10. Inungu J, Mumford V, Younis M, et al. (2009) HIV knowledge, attitudes and practices among college students in the United States. J Health Hum Serv Adm 32: 259-277.
  • 11. Sutton MY, Hardnett FP, Wright P, et al. (2011) HIV/AIDS knowledge scores and perceptions of risk among African American students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Public Health Rep 126: 653-663.
  • 12. Brown CW, Shepperson JT, Gopalan H, et al. (2012) HIV: Facts, fiction, and the impact on behavior of students at an Historically Black College/University. Int J Health Promot Educ 50: 61-67.    
  • 13. Collado A, Loya JM, Yi R (2015) The Interaction of HIV Knowledge, Perceived Risk, and Sex Differences on Risky Sex. Int J Sex Health 27: 418-428.    
  • 14. El Bcheraoui C, Sutton M, Hardnett F, et al. (2013) Patterns of condom use among students at historically Black colleges and universities: implications for HIV prevention efforts among college-age young adults. AIDS Care 25: 186-193.    
  • 15. Balfour L, Corace K, Tasca GA, et al. (2010) High HIV knowledge relates to low stigma in pharmacists and university health science students in Guyana, South America. Int J Infect Dis 14: e881-e887.
  • 16. Badahdah AM, Sayem N (2010) HIV-related knowledge and AIDS stigma among college students in Yemen/Connaissances en termes de VIH et stigmatisation associée au sida chez des étudiants en République du Yémen. East Mediterr Health J 16: 901.
  • 17. Kingori C, Reece M, Obeng S, et al. (2012) Impact of internalized stigma on HIV prevention behaviors among HIV-infected individuals seeking HIV care in Kenya. AIDS Patient Care and STDs 26: 761-768.    
  • 18. American Psychological Association. The stigma of HIV/AIDS, 2017. Available from: http://www.apa.org/pi/about/newsletter/2014/12/hiv-aids.aspx.
  • 19. Basta TB, Stambaugh T, Fisher CB (2015) Efficacy of an educational intervention to increase consent for HIV testing in rural Appalachia. Ethics Behav 25: 129-145.    
  • 20. Herek GM, Capitanio JP, Widaman KF (2002) HIV-related stigma and knowledge in the United States: prevalence and trends, 1991–1999. Am J Public Health 92: 371-377.    
  • 21. Carey MP, Schroder KE (2002) Development and psychometric evaluation of the brief HIV knowledge questionnaire. AIDS Educ Prev 14: 172-182.
  • 22. Barker DH, Swenson RR, Brown LK, et al. (2012) Blocking the benefit of group-based HIV-prevention efforts during adolescence: the problem of HIV-related stigma. AIDS Behav 16: 571-577.
  • 23. Foster V, Clark PC, Holstad MM, et al. (2012) Factors associated with risky sexual behaviors in older adults. J Assoc Nurses AIDS Care 23: 487-499.    
  • 24. Johnston CL, Marshall BDL, Qi J, et al. (2011) HIV knowledge and perceptions of risk in a young, urban, drug-using population. Public Health 125: 791-794.    
  • 25. Henrickson M, Dickson N, Mhlanga F, et al. (2015) Stigma, lack of knowledge and prevalence maintain HIV risk among Black Africans in New Zealand. Aust N Z J Public Health 39: 32-37.    
  • 26. Lewis JE, Miguez-Burbano MJ, Malow RM (2009) HIV risk behavior among college students in the United States. Coll Stud J 43: 475-491.
  • 27. SAS Institute Inc. 2011. SAS® 9.3 Statements: Reference. Cary, NC: SAS Institute Inc.
  • 28. Jozkowski KN, Wiersma JD (2015) Does Drinking Alcohol Prior to Sexual Activity Influence College Students' Consent? Int J Sex Health 27: 156-174.    
  • 29. Tung WC, Ding K, Farmer S (2008) Knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors related to HIV and AIDS among college students in Taiwan. J Assoc Nurses AIDS Care 19: 397-408.    
  • 30. Oppong AK, Oti-Boadi M (2013) HIV/AIDS knowledge among undergraduate university students: implications for health education programs in Ghana. Afr Health Sciences 13: 270-277.
  • 31. Tung WC, Cook DM, Lu M, and et al. (2013) HIV knowledge and behavior among Chinese college students in China and the United States. West J Nurs Res 35: 1171-1183.    
  • 32. Aronson RE, Rulison KL, Graham LF, et al. (2013) Brothers leading healthy lives: outcomes from the pilot testing of a culturally and contextually congruent HIV prevention intervention for black male college students. AIDS Educ Prev 25: 376.    
  • 33. Calloway DS, Long-White DN, Corbin DE (2013) Reducing the Risk of HIV/AIDS in African American College Students an Exploratory Investigation of the Efficacy of a Peer Educator Approach. Health Promot Pract 15: 181-188.
  • 34. McMahon S, Postmus JL, Warrener C, et al. (2014) Utilizing peer education theater for the primary prevention of sexual violence on college campuses. J Coll Stud Dev 55: 78-85.    
  • 35. Thato R, Penrose J (2013) A brief, peer-led HIV prevention program for college students in Bangkok, Thailand. J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol 26: 58-65.
  • 36. Dixon S (2007) Relationship between HIV knowledge, perceived threat, HIV risk behaviors, HIV testing history and prior sexuality education among college students in an urban university. [master's thesis]. Cincinnati, OH: University of Cincinnati.
  • 37. Crosby RA, Yarber WL (2001) Perceived versus actual knowledge about correct condom use among US adolescents: Results from a national study. J Adolesc Health 28: 415-420.    
  • 38. Wagenaar BH, Sullivan PS, Stephenson R (2012) HIV knowledge and associated factors among Internet-using men who have sex with men (MSM) in South Africa and the United States. PLoS One 7: e32915.
  • 39. Lawson KL, Bayly M, Cey E (2013) Judgments regarding the acceptability of childbearing and parental fitness made towards women living with HIV. AIDS Care 25: 676-679.
  • 40. Mahajan AP, Sayles JN, Patel VA, et al. (2008) Stigma in the HIV/AIDS epidemic: A review of the literature and recommendations for the way forward. AIDS (London, England) 22: S67-S79.
  • 41. World Health Organization (2010) Antiretroviral drugs for treating pregnant women and preventing HIV infection in infants: recommendations for a public health approach-2010 version. World Health Organization.
  • 42. Perinatal HIV Guidelines Working Group (2015) US Public Health Service Task Force Recommendations for the Use of Antiretroviral Drugs in Pregnant Women Infected with HIV-1 for Maternal Health and for Reducing Perinatal HIV-1 Transmission in the United States, February 25, 2000, by the Perinatal. HIV Clinical Trials.
  • 43. Djibuti M, Zurashvili T, Kasrashvili T, et al. (2015) Factors associated with HIV counseling and testing behavior among undergraduates of universities and vocational technical training schools in Tbilisi, Georgia. BMC Public Health 15: 1-9.    
  • 44. Klein KJ, Hodges SD (2001) Gender differences, motivation, and empathic accuracy: When it pays to understand. Personal Soc Psychol Bull 27: 720-730.    
  • 45. Allan A, McKillop D (2010) The health implications of apologizing after an adverse event. Int J Qual Health Care 22: 126-131.    
  • 46. Schieman S, Van Gundy K (2000) The personal and social links between age and self-reported empathy. Soc Psychol Q 63: 152-174.    
  • 47. Lifson AR, Demissie W, Tadesse A, et al. (2013) Barriers to retention in care as perceived by persons living with HIV in rural Ethiopia focus group results and recommended strategies. J Int Assoc Provid AIDS Care 12: 32-38.    
  • 48. Moore D, Onsomu E, Abuya B (2011) Entertainment-education for starting HIV/AIDS discussions and reducing stigma: African American college students' reactions to the film yesterday. J Best Pract Health Prof Divers: Educ Res Policy 4: 563-573.
  • 49. Ohio Department of Education. Health education. 2015, October 6. Available from: http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Ohios-Learning-Standards/Health-Education.
  • 50. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2015c). National health education standards. Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/sher/standards/index.htm.
  • 51. Yiu JW, Mak WW, Ho WS, et al. (2010) Effectiveness of a knowledge-contact program in improving nursing students' attitudes and emotional competence in serving people living with HIV/AIDS. Soc Sci Med 71: 38-44.    
  • 52. Taggart T, Taboada A, Stein JA, et al. (2016) AMP! A cross-site analysis of the effects of a theater-based intervention on adolescent awareness, attitudes, and knowledge about HIV. Prev Sci 17: 544-553.    


This article has been cited by

  • 1. Tyler G. James, Sadie J. Ryan, HIV knowledge mediates the relationship between HIV testing history and stigma in college students, Journal of American College Health, 2018, 00, 10.1080/07448481.2018.1432623
  • 2. Oscar Labra, Anaïs Lacasse, Gabriel Gingras-Lacroix, Attitudes et connaissances d’étudiants universitaires à l’égard du VIH-sida, Service social, 2017, 63, 2, 1, 10.7202/1046496ar
  • 3. Jiasheng Huang, Yuen Yee Shum, Jianxin Zhang, Nancy Xiaonan Yu, Social distance mediates the association between fear of infection and better-off-dead beliefs about people living with HIV, Journal of International Medical Research, 2019, 030006051989081, 10.1177/0300060519890819
  • 4. Marija Milic, Jelena Dotlic, Jasmina Stevanovic, Milan Parlic, Katarina Mitic, Desmond Nicholson, Aleksandra Arsovic, Tatjana Gazibara, Relevance of students’ demographic characteristics, sources of information and personal attitudes towards HIV testing for HIV knowledge: evidence from a post-conflict setting, Journal of Biosocial Science, 2020, 1, 10.1017/S0021932019000877
  • 5. Lauren A. Stutts, Patrick A. Robinson, Brian Witt, Debra F. Terrell, Lost in translation: College students’ knowledge of HIV and PrEP in relation to their sexual health behaviors, Journal of American College Health, 2020, 1, 10.1080/07448481.2020.1757679
  • 6. Dewanna Blake, Sherrie Roberson, Tara Haskins, Promoting stigma self-awareness in nursing students through brief unconventional clinical experiences, Teaching and Learning in Nursing, 2020, 10.1016/j.teln.2020.06.012

Reader Comments

your name: *   your email: *  

Copyright Info: 2017, Caroline Kingori, et al., licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

Download full text in PDF

Export Citation

Copyright © AIMS Press All Rights Reserved