Public health issues and epidemics

Validation of a Felt Stigma Scale among People Living with HIV and AIDS in the Dominican Republic

The preliminary version of Felt Stigma Scale, composed by 42 items, was administrated to 254 HIV positive persons (71.7% women), in 22 self-support groups of the Dominican Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (REDOVIH), through individual interviews. Exploratory factor analysis was performed (Alpha factoring with varimax extraction), extracting 4 factors (personalized stigma, disclosure concerns, self-stigma and extensive stigma), and retaining the items with factor loadings above .50 on at least one of them. A simple, 18-item scale was obtained, aimed to identify PLWHAs with difficulties in managing felt stigma-related issues. The internal consistency reliability was supported by Coefficient Alpha (0.84), and the evidence for construct validity was provided through significant correlations with related constructs (self-esteem, social support and depression), supporting the use of this scale among the HIV positive persons in the Dominican Republic.
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