What is this project about?

HIV-related stigma in healthcare settings is an on-going problem that creates barriers to accessing treatment and care, and affects quality of life for people living with HIV in Ireland. No policies or best practice guidelines on how to address HIV-related stigma currently exist. We are working with health and social care practitioners and people living with HIV to collectively assess needs and address this gap. This project is a collaboration between the Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway and HIV Ireland, and is funded by the Irish Research Council New Foundations Programme.

What are the aims of the project?

This research aims to develop policy and practice recommendations to help reduce HIV-related stigma in healthcare settings. Secondary objectives include:

  1. Facilitating network development and knowledge exchange opportunities for key stakeholders, including researchers, people living with HIV, health and social care professionals, HIV organisations, activists and policy-makers.
  2. Improving awareness and capacity-building around reducing HIV-related stigma among health and social care professionals.

How will the project aims be met?

The project is structured in three stages, with stakeholders embedded in the research process. A stakeholder panel, including people living with HIV and health and social care professionals is being convened to advise and help develop data collection tools.

Stage one of the project involves reviewing the literature on HIV-related stigma in healthcare settings, ways of measuring it and ways of addressing it.

Stage two involves collecting data to assess needs, gaps in information and necessary supports, both for service users and for service providers. Two national online surveys aimed at i) people living with HIV and ii) health and social care professionals are being conducted. We will also be interviewing people living with HIV, health and social care professionals, service providers and policy-makers.

Stage three involves a roundtable workshop event, held in collaboration with our research partners HIV Ireland, to present and discuss findings and to reach agreement and consensus on needs and priorities.

Based on the outcomes of this collaborative research effort, we will produce and disseminate policy and practice guidelines to share with the community and health and social care professionals.

How can i get involved?

We are currently recruiting for members for the stakeholder panel. If you are a person living with HIV or a health or social care professional, please contact Elena Vaughan, the Principal Investigator, by email at elena.vaughan@nuigalway.ie. Find out more about the stakeholder panel by clicking the links below.‌

Info flyer HSCP

Info flyer PLHIV

We will also be recruiting participants for the surveys and interviews and will be advertising these on this webpage and our social media channels.

How can I keep up to date on the progress of the project?

We will provide updates on this webpage. Updates will also be provided on Twitter: @StigmaStudyIE.

I want information on taking part in this study – who do I get in touch with?

For information on any aspect of the study, including participation, email Dr Elena Vaughan at elena.vaughan@nuigalway.ie

 This project is being carried out in collaboration with HIV Ireland and is funded by a grant from the Irish Research Council as part of the New Foundations 2021 Programme.IRC resizedHIV Ireland logo

Dr Elena Vaughan, recipient of the Irish Research Council New Foundations award describes the HIV-stigma study

Stigma Study twitter feeds