Original Research

Stigma, medication adherence and coping mechanism among people living with HIV attending General Hospital, Lagos Island, Nigeria

Adekemi O. Sekoni, Obinna R. Obidike, Mobolanle R. Balogun
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 4, No 1 | a417 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v4i1.417 | © 2012 Adekemi O. Sekoni, Obinna R. Obidike, Mobolanle R. Balogun | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 January 2012 | Published: 13 November 2012

About the author(s)

Adekemi O. Sekoni, Department of Community Health and Primary Care, University of Lagos, Nigeria
Obinna R. Obidike, Massey Children Hospital, Lagos Island, Nigeria
Mobolanle R. Balogun, Department of Community Health and Primary Care, University of Lagos, Nigeria


Background: People living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA) experience some form of stigma which could lead to poor medication adherence.

Objectives: This study assessed the various domains of stigma experienced by PLWHAs attending an HIV clinic at General Hospital, Lagos Island, their medication adherence patterns and their coping mechanisms for ensuring adherence to antiretroviral therapy.

Method: A cross-sectional study design with a sample size of 200 was used. Respondents were selected using systematic random sampling. Interviewers administered structured questionnaires were used to collect information on the domains of stigma. Data was analysed using EPI info©. This was followed by a focus group discussion (FGD) with seven participants at the clinic using an interview guide with open-ended questions.

Results: Overall, stigma was experienced by 35% of the respondents. Within this group, 6.6%, 37.1%, 43.1% and 98.0% of the respondents reported experiencing negative self image stigma, personalised stigma, disclosure stigma and public attitude stigma respectively. Almost 90% of the respondents were adherent. The FGD revealed that disclosure was usually confined to family members and the coping mechanism for achieving adherence was to put antiretroviral (ARVs) in unlabelled pill boxes.

Conclusion: This study found that stigma was low and that the most common domain of stigma experienced was public attitude stigma. Medication adherence of respondents was good as a result of the coping mechanism, which involves putting ARVs in unlabelled pill boxes.


antiretroviral therapy; coping mechanism; HIV stigma; medication adherence; people living with HIV and AIDS


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Crossref Citations

1. Correlates of perceived HIV-related stigma among HIV-positive pregnant women in rural Mpumalanga province, South Africa
Shandir Ramlagan, Sibusiso Sifunda, Karl Peltzer, Jenny Jean, Robert A.C. Ruiter
Journal of Psychology in Africa  vol: 29  issue: 2  first page: 141  year: 2019  
doi: 10.1080/14330237.2019.1603022