Southern HIV/AIDS Strategy Initiative (SASI) published an article in AIDS and Behavior which examined the prevalence of different forms of stigma and the association of stigma with medication and medical visit adherence in the Deep South. The study findings suggest the need to identify and develop effective interventions to address internalized HIV-related stigma and to address community HIV stigma to improve outcomes for persons living with HIV.
The U.S. South, particularly the Deep South region, has been disproportionately affected by HIV. The Deep South had the highest HIV diagnosis rates and HIV death rates of any region from 2008 to 2015. Several factors have been implicated as contributing to the disproportionate impact of HIV in the Deep South. In particular, high levels of HIV-related stigma and discrimination in the Deep South and have been found to contribute to poorer health outcomes such as lower levels of medication adherence.