Meta-analysis and systematic review of studies on the effectiveness of HIV stigma reduction programs


OBJECTIVE: The present study conducted a meta-analysis and systematic review on studies evaluating the effectiveness of stigma reduction programs in improving knowledge and reducing negative attitudes towards people living with HIV (PLHIV). RESULTS: Meta-analysis (k = 42 studies) found significant and small effect sizes in the improvement of the participants’ knowledge of HIV/AIDS from interventions with (Cohen’s d = 0.48, 95% CI [0.30, 0.66]) and without control groups (Cohen’s d = 0.42, 95% CI [0.28, 0.57]). Significant and small effect sizes were found in the improvement of the participants’ attitudes toward PLHIV from interventions with (Cohen’s d = 0.39, 95% CI [0.23, 0.55]) and without control groups (Cohen’s d = 0.25, 95% CI [0.11, 0.39]). Significant and small effect sizes were sustained at the follow-up assessments. Subgroup analysis showed that number of intervention sessions, intervention settings, and sample type significantly moderated the effect sizes in the meta-analysis. Findings from the systematic review of 35 studies indicated that most of the included studies showed positive results in reducing negative attitudes toward PLHIV and improving HIV-related knowledge. Most of the included studies tended to have low methodological quality. CONCLUSION: The present meta-analysis and systematic review indicated that the studies generally found small improvement in HIV-related knowledge and reduction in negative attitudes towards PLHIV among the stigma reduction programs being evaluated. High-quality stigma reduction programs with multidimensional stigma indicators and psychometrically sound outcome measures are highly warranted


Mak WWS, Mo PKH, Ma GYK, Lam MYY




  • Population(s)
    • General HIV- population
  • Prevention
    • Education/media campaigns
  • Health Systems
    • Delivery arrangements


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