Religion and HIV/AIDS stigma: Implications for health professionals in Puerto Rico Article

Varas-Diaz, N, Neilands, TB, Malave Rivera, S et al. (2010). Religion and HIV/AIDS stigma: Implications for health professionals in Puerto Rico . 5(3), 295-312. 10.1080/17441690903436581

cited authors

  • Varas-Diaz, N; Neilands, TB; Malave Rivera, S; Betancourt, E

fiu authors


  • HIV/AIDS stigma continues to be a barrier for prevention efforts. Its detrimental effects have been documented among people living with HIV/AIDS and encompass loss of social support and depression. When it is manifested by health professionals, it can lead to sub-optimal services. Although strides have been made to document the effects of HIV/AIDS stigma, much needs to be done in order to understand the structural factors that can foster it. Such is the case of religion's role on HIV/AIDS stigma in Puerto Rico. The Caribbean Island has a Judeo-Christian-based culture due to years of Spanish colonisation. This religious influence continued under Protestantism as part of the Island's integration as a non-incorporated territory of the USA. The main objective of this study was to explore the role of religion in HIV/AIDS stigma manifested by Puerto Rican health professionals in practice and in training. Through a mixed-method approach, 501 health professionals completed qualitative interviews (n=80) and self-administered questionnaires (n=421). Results show that religion plays some role in conceptualisations of health and illness among participants in the study. Furthermore, the importance placed on religion and participation in such activities was related to higher levels of HIV/AIDS stigma. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.

publication date

  • May 1, 2010

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 295

end page

  • 312


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