Stigma and Discrimination Against HIV-Positive Young Adults in Bangkok, Thailand
Investigator: Rhea Mathew, MS
Sponsor: Global Health Sciences Education
Mentor: Dr. Annette Sohn
Thailand has identified stigma and discrimination as a propagator of the HIV epidemic and an obstacle to achieving elimination. One of the specific targets of its national response to HIV has been to eliminate stigma and discrimination as well as to scale up protective social and legal parameters necessary for HIV prevention and care. However, tackling stigma and discrimination continue to be a challenge in Thailand, and few studies have explored how they specifically impact adolescents and young adults. Furthermore, 50,000 new infections in Thailand, representing about 15% of total new infections, were among older adolescents aged 15-19 in 2014. Given the rise in infections amongst this key population and Thailand’s commitment to reducing stigma, we aimed to explore the perspectives of HIV-positive individuals aged 18-24 regarding the influence of stigma and discrimination in school, health care environments, work, relationships, and perceptions of self.