Technical Brief: Measuring HIV stigma and discrimination


To understand how HIV stigma operates and how it can be reduced, researchers need a standardised measurement framework.

Stigma increases vulnerability to HIV infection and hampers prevention efforts. In 1987, the director of the WHO Global Programme on AIDS described HIV stigma as the ‘third epidemic', coming after those of HIV and AIDS and no less crucial. To understand and address stigma, it is necessary to have clear and shared measures. But the number and diversity of questions and scales used in stigma research over the years have made it difficult to compare findings across contexts.

Drawing on the work of the Global Stigma and Discrimination Indicator Working Group (GSDIWG), STRIVE partner ICRW has compiled a concise four-page measurement brief. It lays out:

  • The key domains of HIV related stigma and discrimination that need to be measured;
  • Specific questions for measuring stigma and discrimination across three populations: people living with HIV, the general population and healthcare providers
  • A framework for programme implementation and measurement
  • Areas requiring further question development, testing and validation

This brief is designed to guide researchers in the study of HIV-related stigma and discrimination, either as the main focus of research or as an element within related studies.


Stangl, A.L.; Brady, L.; Fritz, K. Technical Brief: Measuring HIV stigma and discrimination. (2012) 4 pp.

Technical Brief: Measuring HIV stigma and discrimination

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