Multiple dimensions of HIV stigma and psychological distress among Asians and Pacific Islanders living with HIV illness

Ezer Kang, Bruce D. Rapkin, Robert H. Remien, Claude Ann Mellins, Alina Oh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Scopus citations


Asians and Pacific Islanders (APIs) living with HIV/AIDS in the US are particularly vulnerable to HIV-related stigma largely due to ingrained socio-cultural norms that strongly associate HIV transmission with activities perceived to be immoral. This cross-sectional study examined the relationship between five HIV-stigma factors and psychological distress among 54 HIV-seropositive APIs. Social Rejection, Negative Self-Worth, Perceived Interpersonal Insecurity, and Financial Security were all significantly associated with psychological distress. Results from hierarchical multiple regression analyses indicated that Social Rejection, Negative Self-Worth, and Perceived Interpersonal Insecurity significantly predicted psychological distress after control for physical symptoms and country of birth. Undocumented Asians endorsed higher levels of Social Rejection, Negative Self-Worth and Perceived Interpersonal Insecurity than documented APIs. Future studies examining mechanisms of psychological distress among HIV-seropositive APIs are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-154
Number of pages10
JournalAIDS and Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2005
Externally publishedYes



  • Asians
  • Pacific Islanders
  • Stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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