HIV stigma reduction interventions among health care providers and students in different countries: A systematic review


BACKGROUND: Health care providers’ stigmatizing attitudes are obstacles to patients’ well-being and quality of life. Dealing with HIV-related stigma and understanding the impact of feasible interventions on reducing stigmatizing attitudes among health care providers are considered important strategies to improve the quality of HIV care, patient-provider relationships, and provide supportive and safe care services. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to systematically review interventions to reduce HIV-related stigma among health care providers. METHODS: This systematic review was performed using Medline, CINAHL, ERIC, and APA PsycInfo, Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition to search for quasi-experimental studies and randomized controlled trials (RCTs) designed to reduce HIV stigma among health care providers. The quality of eligible research studies was independently appraised by two reviewers. RESULTS: A total of 774 studies were screened, 100 articles were assessed for the eligibility, and 10 studies met the inclusion criteria. All interventions effectively reduced HIV-related stigma. Elements of successful interventions including knowledge modules, peer education, patients’ testimonials, Photovoice-informed stigma reduction training, stigma-free space intervention, and popular opinion leaders. Interventions were assessed and compared in terms of contents, delivery modes, HIV stigma measurements, follow-up, and limitations. CONCLUSIONS: This systematic review supports the effectiveness of in-person educational interventions at reducing HIV-related stigma among health care providers across countries. Comparisons of delivery modes of interventions indicated that educational interventions delivered by patients’ testimonials and peer education strategies are more promising than lecture-based teaching methods. Further studies are needed to assess long-term effects of interventions on clinical behaviors and practices.


Mohammadifirouzeh M, Oh KM, Tanner S




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Determinants of Health
  • Determinants of Health
    • Health services
    • Stigma/discrimination
  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Prevention, Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Prevention
  • Prevention
    • Education/media campaigns


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