Poverty stigma is associated with suboptimal HIV care and treatment outcomes among women living with HIV in the United States

Academic Article


  • © 2019 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved. Objective:To examine whether experienced poverty stigma is associated with worse HIV care and treatment outcomes.Design:We analyzed cross-sectional data from 433 women living with HIV enrolled in the Women's Adherence and Visit Engagement substudy of the Women's Interagency HIV Study.Methods:Exposure was experienced poverty stigma, measured using the Perceived Stigma of Poverty Scale. Outcomes were viral suppression, CD4+ cell count at least 350 cells/μl, and attending all HIV care visits in the past 6 months. Multivariable logistic regression models adjusted for income, age, race/ethnicity, education, substance use, months taking antiretroviral therapy (ART), number of antiretroviral pills in ART regimen, unstable housing, relationship status, and exchanging sex for money, drugs, or shelter. We also explored whether self-reported at least 95% ART adherence mediated the relationship between poverty stigma and viral suppression and CD4+ cell count at least 350 cells/μl.Results:Experienced poverty stigma was associated with lower adjusted odds of viral suppression [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 0.76; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.61-0.96], CD4+ cell count at least 350 cells/μl (aOR 0.69; 95% CI 0.52-0.91), and attending all HIV care visits (aOR 0.73; 95% CI: 0.54-0.98). Exploratory mediation analysis suggests that at least 95% ART adherence significantly mediates the relationship between experienced poverty stigma and viral suppression and CD4+ cell count at least 350 cells/μl.Conclusion:Longitudinal research should assess these relationships over time. Findings support interventions and policies that seek to reduce poverty stigma among people living with HIV.
  • Published In

  • AIDS  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Leddy AM; Turan JM; Johnson MO; Neilands TB; Kempf MC; Konkle-Parker D; Wingood G; Tien PC; Wilson TE; Logie CH
  • Start Page

  • 1379
  • End Page

  • 1384
  • Volume

  • 33
  • Issue

  • 8