Journal Article Annotations
2022, 1st Quarter
Annotations by Liliya Gershengoren, MD MPH
This is the first systematic review and meta-analysis investigating the connection between experienced HIV-related stigma and social support, alcohol use disorders, and mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. The authors report a positive association between HIV-related stigma and increased levels of depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation. There was a negative association between social support and reported stigma. Interestingly, there was no association between alcohol use disorders and HIV-related stigma.
Strength and weaknesses:
One particular area of strength in this study is its examination of different variables (eg, social support, alcohol use, mental health disorders) with HIV-related stigma. It is also the first meta-analysis to examine these relationships. Additionally, the inclusion of studies from different geographic locations and publication eras render the results more generalizable. The limitations of the study include relying on self-report to characterize HIV-related stigma. The majority of the studies were cross-sectional; thus, establishing causal and temporal associations were not possible.
C-L psychiatrists often work with patients living with HIV and must be aware of the impact of HIV-related stigma which many patients experience. This study highlights the association between depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation with HIV-related stigma. Furthermore, the study demonstrates the benefits of social supports for patients diagnosed with HIV. This study highlights that social support, experienced stigma, anxiety, depression, and SI are important factors to consider when evaluating patients living with HIV.