Correlates of Internalized HIV Stigma: A Comprehensive Systematic Review

Yvonne L van der Kooij*, Chantal den Daas, Arjan E R Bos, Roy A Willems, Sarah E Stutterheim

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Internalized HIV stigma is prevalent and research on internalized HIV stigma has increased during the past 10 years. The aim of this systematic review was to synthesize research on internalized HIV stigma and relationships with various health-related variables in order to better inform the development of interventions aimed at reducing internalized HIV stigma. We reviewed 176 studies with a quantitative design reporting correlates that were peer-reviewed, published in English before January 2021, drawn from PubMed, PSYCHINFO, Web of Science, EBSCO, and Scopus. Synthesis showed consistent associations between internalized stigma and negative psychological (e.g., depression, anxiety), social (e.g., lack of social support, discrimination, nondisclosure, and intersecting stigmas), and health (e.g., substance use, treatment nonadherence, negative clinical HIV outcomes) variables. We argue for a more socioecological approach to internalized stigma, with greater attention for intersectional stigmas, and more longitudinal research, if we are to effectively develop interventions that reduce internalized stigma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-172
Number of pages15
JournalAids Education and Prevention
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


  • Anxiety
  • HIV Infections/prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Social Stigma
  • Social Support
  • self-stigma
  • HIV
  • internalized stigma
  • systematic review


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