Internalized HIV Stigma and Pain among Women with HIV in the United States: The Mediating Role of Depressive Symptoms

Academic Article


  • Pain is common in women with HIV, though little research has focused on psychosocial experiences contributing to pain in this population. In the present study we examined whether internalized HIV stigma predicts pain, and whether depressive symptoms mediate this relationship among women with HIV. Data were drawn from the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), for 1,364 women with HIV who completed three study visits between 2015 and 2016. We used a sequential longitudinal design to assess the relationship between internalized HIV stigma at time 1 on pain at time 3 through depressive symptoms at time 2. Analyses revealed internalized HIV stigma was prospectively associated with greater pain, B = 5.30, 95% CI [2.84, 7.60]. The indirect effect through depressive symptoms supported mediation, B = 3.68, 95% CI [2.69, 4.79]. Depression is a modifiable risk factor that can be addressed to improve pain prevention and intervention for women with HIV.
  • Published In

  • AIDS and Behavior  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Crockett KB; Esensoy TA; Johnson MO; Neilands TB; Kempf MC; Konkle-Parker D; Wingood G; Tien PC; Cohen M; Wilson TE
  • Start Page

  • 3482
  • End Page

  • 3490
  • Volume

  • 24
  • Issue

  • 12