Relationship of Stigma to HIV Risk Among Women with Mental Illness

Pamela Y. Collins, Katherine S. Elkington, Hella von Unger, Annika Sweetland, Eric R. Wright, Patricia A. Zybert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Urban women with severe mental illness (SMI) are vulnerable to stigma and discrimination related to mental illness and other stigmatized labels. Stigma experiences may increase their risk for negative health outcomes, such as HIV infection. This study tests the relationship between perceived stigma and HIV risk behaviors among women with SMI. The authors interviewed 92 women attending community mental health programs using the Stigma of Psychiatric Illness and Sexuality Among Women Questionnaire. There were significant relationships between personal experiences of mental illness and substance use accompanying sexual intercourse; perceived ethnic stigma and having a riskier partner type; and experiences of discrimination and having a casual or sex-exchange partner. Higher scores on relationship stigma were associated with a greater number of sexual risk behaviors. The findings underscore the importance of exploring how stigma attached to mental illness intersects with other stigmatized labels to produce unique configurations of HIV risk. HIV risk reduction interventions and prevention research should integrate attention to stigmatized identities in the lives of women with SMI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)498-506
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthopsychiatry
Volume78
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2008
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

HIV
Risk-Taking
Coitus
Sexuality
Risk Reduction Behavior
Sexual Behavior
HIV Infections
Psychiatry
Mental Health
Stigma
Mental Illness
AIDS/HIV
Health
Research
Sexual
Discrimination

Keywords

  • HIV sexual risk
  • severe mental illness
  • stigma
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Collins, P. Y., Elkington, K. S., von Unger, H., Sweetland, A., Wright, E. R., & Zybert, P. A. (2008). Relationship of Stigma to HIV Risk Among Women with Mental Illness. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 78(4), 498-506. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0014581

Relationship of Stigma to HIV Risk Among Women with Mental Illness. / Collins, Pamela Y.; Elkington, Katherine S.; von Unger, Hella; Sweetland, Annika; Wright, Eric R.; Zybert, Patricia A.

In: American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Vol. 78, No. 4, 10.2008, p. 498-506.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Collins, PY, Elkington, KS, von Unger, H, Sweetland, A, Wright, ER & Zybert, PA 2008, 'Relationship of Stigma to HIV Risk Among Women with Mental Illness', American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, vol. 78, no. 4, pp. 498-506. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0014581
Collins PY, Elkington KS, von Unger H, Sweetland A, Wright ER, Zybert PA. Relationship of Stigma to HIV Risk Among Women with Mental Illness. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. 2008 Oct;78(4):498-506. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0014581
Collins, Pamela Y. ; Elkington, Katherine S. ; von Unger, Hella ; Sweetland, Annika ; Wright, Eric R. ; Zybert, Patricia A. / Relationship of Stigma to HIV Risk Among Women with Mental Illness. In: American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. 2008 ; Vol. 78, No. 4. pp. 498-506.
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