01- A Community-Based Participatory Research Project Aimed to Develop HIV and LGBTQ+ Stigma Reduction Guidelines for Healthcare Settings in South Texas

Primary Author

Allison Olfers

Additional Author(s)

Tina A. Huynh, Aleta Baldwin, C. Junda Woo, Sean L. Greene, Gregory L. Casillas, Barbara S. Taylor, Katelyn M. Sileo

Faculty Mentor

Katelyn Sileo


Background: People living with HIV and those at elevated risk for HIV, including some in the LGBTQ+ community, disproportionately experience negative health outcomes due to stigma encountered within healthcare. Improving healthcare quality for these populations requires addressing stigma within medical systems, institutions, and among providers.

Methods: As part of a larger, community-based participatory research project, the aim of this qualitative study was to identify strategies to reduce HIV and LGBTQ+ stigma in healthcare settings in San Antonio, TX. Academic researchers and a community-based organization, the End Stigma End HIV Alliance (ESEHA), conducted focus group interviews with healthcare professionals in San Antonio in 2020 (N=18). Data were analyzed using thematic analysis, guided by the social ecological model.

Results: Recommendations to reduce stigma spanned all levels of the social ecological model. Multi-level educational interventions were recommended, including storytelling performances at the interpersonal level, and community-level campaigns to destigmatize HIV and increase LGBTQ+ representation. Key recommendations at the organizational-level included mandatory continuing medical education, resource guides, standardizing inclusive intake forms and single-capture histories, along with other efforts to change workplace culture through team training and collectivistic leadership approaches.

Conclusions: These findings highlight tangible, multi-level stigma solutions to improve healthcare quality for people living with HIV and the LGBTQ+ community. An ESEHA working group used these findings in tandem with findings from other elements of the larger project (i.e., quantitative survey, storytelling project), and a literature review of evidence-based stigma reduction strategies, to create stigma reduction guidelines for dissemination to local healthcare organizations.



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