HIV stigma and spiritual care in people living with HIV

Chia Hui Yu, Yi Chi Chiu, Su Fen Cheng, Nai Ying Ko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


HIV infection has been a manageable and chronic illness in Taiwan since the highly active antiretroviral therapy was introduced in 1997. HIV infection is a stigmatized disease due to its perceived association with risky behaviors. HIV often carries a negative image, and people living with HIV(PLWH) face discrimination on multiple fronts. Internalized HIV stigma impacts the spiritual health of people living with HIV in terms of increased levels of shame, self-blame, fear of disclosing HIV status, and isolation and decreased value and connections with God, others, the environment, and the self. Nursing professionals provide holistic care for all people living with HIV and value their lives in order to achieve the harmony of body, mind, and spirit. This article describes the stigma that is currently associated with HIV and how stigma-related discrimination affects the spiritual health of PLWH and then proposes how to reduce discrimination and stigma in order to improve the spiritual health of PLWH through appropriate spiritual care. Reducing HIV stigma and promoting spiritual well-being will enable Taiwan to achieve the 'Three Zeros' of zero discrimination, zero infection, and zero death advocated by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS for ending the AIDS epidemic in 2030.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-16
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nursing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nursing(all)


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