Validation of an HIV/AIDS Stigma Measure for Children Living with HIV and Their Families

Rachel Vreeman, Michael Lawrence Scanlon, Wanzhu Tu, James Slaven, Carole McAteer, Josephine Aluoch, Samuel Ayaya, Winstone Mokaya Nyandiko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: There are few validated tools to measure stigma, particularly among children living with HIV and their families. Methods: This study was nested within a larger study that followed 240 child–caregiver dyads (children aged 10-15 years) at 8 clinics in western Kenya. The stigma instrument was administered to all child–caregiver dyads at 2 time points 6 months apart. The primary end point was to construct validity assessed by comparison to criterion constructs using generalized estimating equation models. Results: Mean age of child participants was 12.3 years and 52% were female. Generally, caregivers reported experiencing higher levels of HIV stigma compared to their children. Children (9%) and caregivers (14%) reported that HIV stigma made them feel stressed, anxious, and depressed. Child and caregiver stigma items showed high construct validity by emotional and behavioral outcomes. Conclusions: The stigma instrument showed high validity when compared to emotional and behavioral outcomes.


  • Kenya
  • children
  • stigma
  • validation study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Dermatology
  • Infectious Diseases

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