Socio-economic status and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS in selected local government areas of Lagos state, Nigeria

  • Chinwe Rosabelle Nwanna Department of Sociology, University of Lagos, Akoka, Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria
Keywords: HIV-related discrimination, Epe Local Government Area, Lagos Mainland Local Government Area, PLWHA, Socioeconomic status


The main thrust of the study was to explore the correlation between socio-economic status and discrimination among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) and non-infected people in two local government areas (LGAs) of Lagos state: Lagos Mainland, an urban setting, and Epe, a rural one. Multistage and systematic sampling techniques were used in 40 enumeration areas (25 in Lagos Mainland and 15 in Epe) to obtain a sample of 1,611 non-infected respondents and a purposive sample of 80 PLWHA. Interviews and focus group discussions were conducted from September 2005 to April 2006. Data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) while hypotheses were tested by multivariate logistic regression analysis. The results showed that many noninfected respondents exhibited discriminatory attitudes in different situations involving potential contacts with the PLWHA. The study also indicated that significant proportions of PLWHA experienced rejection, abandonment, eviction, isolation and alienation within their families and communities. It was revealed that education, place of residence, gender, and marital status were significant predictors of discrimination. Contrary to our argument that women were more vulnerable to discrimination than men, the reverse was the case in this study. Widowed/separated/divorced PLWHA suffered more discrimination than those in other categories of marital status. Empowerment of PLWHA, Intensive mass HIV education and enforcement of national and international legal instruments were recommended among others.


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