Stigma Index Launch

To read the full ‘People Living with HIV Stigma Index‘ Report click here

For the first time in Aotearoa New Zealand, the People Living with HIV Stigma Index, a study where interviewers and participants are living with HIV, has been carried out to assess the level of HIV stigma experienced here.

On Friday 27th November, an event was held to launch the report. Around 100 people from around Aotearoa gathered to hear findings and recommendations for future HIV policy and programming.

Findings have shown that HIV stigma is still a prominent issue in people’s lives and is negatively impacting their employment, education, housing, and relationships, with many of these experiences occurring recently.

Key data:

  • Over a third of participants reported experiencing HIV-related stigma in the last 12 months.
  • One-third of participants reported feelings of being ashamed, guilty, worthless, and dirty, and therefore high levels of internalised stigma, which had affected their quality of life.
  • Nearly half of the participants reported having a mental health condition such as depression, anxiety, or insomnia in the past 12 months. 
  • Many participants reported experiencing human rights abuses. The most frequently reported were having to disclose or get tested to obtain medical insurance (discrimination that is currently allowed by law) and being refused employment or losing a source of income.
  • 188 people living with HIV were interviewed for the study from across Aotearoa New Zealand. All interviewers were also people living with HIV. Participants were 56% European, 20% Māori, 9% African, 8% Asian, 3% Pasifika, and 4% Middle Eastern and Latin American. The majority of participants had been living with HIV longer than 10 years.