Impact of anxiety and depressive symptoms on perceptions of stigma in persons living with HIV disease in rural versus urban North Carolina.

AIDS care

PubMedID: 26643581

Costelloe S, Kemppainen J, Brion J, MacKain S, Reid P, Frampton A, Rigsbee E. Impact of anxiety and depressive symptoms on perceptions of stigma in persons living with HIV disease in rural versus urban North Carolina. AIDS Care. 2015;1-4.
This analysis examined the relationships between HIV-related stigma, depression, and anxiety in rural and urban sites. PARTICIPANTS
were HIV-positive urban (n?=?100) and rural (n?=?100) adult residents of a US southern state, drawn from a sample for a larger international study of self-esteem and self-compassion.

MEASURES
included demographic and health information, the HIV Stigma Scale, the Center for Epidemiology Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), and the Symptom Checklist 90 Revised (SCL-R-90) anxiety scale.Independent sample t-tests showed no significant differences between urban/rural groups on measures of HIV-related stigma, anxiety, or depression, except that rural participants reported greater disclosure concerns (t?=?2. 11, df?=?196, p?=. 036). Both groups indicated high levels of depression and anxiety relative to published norms and clinically relevant cut-off scores. Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted for the HIV Stigma Scale including its four subscales and total stigma scores. Block 1 (control) contained health and demographic variables known to predict HIV-related stigma. Block 2 included the CES-D and the SCL-R-90, and Block 3 was urban/rural location. Mental health symptom scores contributed a significant amount to explained variance in total stigma scores (5. 5%, F??=?6. 020, p?<. 01), personalized stigma (4. 8%, F??=?5. 035, p?<. 01), negative self-image (9. 7%, F??=?12. 289, p?<. 001), and concern with public attitudes (4. 9%, F??=?5. 228, p?<. 01), but not disclosure concerns. Urban/rural location made significant additional contributions to the variance for total stigma (1. 7%, F??=?3. 899, p?<. 05), disclosure concerns (2. 6%, F??=?5. 446, p?<. 05), and concern with public attitudes (1. 9%, F??=?4. 169, p?<. 05) but not personalized stigma or negative self-image. Depression scores consistently and significantly predicted perceived stigma total and subscale scores.

FINDINGS
suggest that mental health symptoms and urban/rural location play important roles in perceived stigma, and treatment implications are presented.