Characterization of Doctor of Pharmacy and Prepharmacy Students' Knowledge, Stigma, and Risk Perceptions Toward Persons Living With HIV/AIDS at a Hispanic-Serving Institution

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American journal of pharmaceutical education


Objective: To assess the knowledge, stigma, and risk perceptions toward people living with HIV/AIDS in Doctor of Pharmacy and prepharmacy students at a Hispanic-serving institution situated on the United States-Mexico border.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was administered to prepharmacy and Doctor of Pharmacy students to assess HIV background and knowledge, stigma, and risk perceptions using a self-completed electronic questionnaire. The χ2 and correlational analyses were conducted.

Results: Performance on the knowledge assessment was significantly correlated with increases in professional year. Although frequencies of negative stigma were overall low, there were 3 key populations that demonstrated higher rates of negative stigma: people who inject drugs, those who partake in high-risk sexual behavior, and sex workers. Although professional year was associated with knowledge and one's willingness to share food with someone living with HIV/AIDS, professional year was not associated with 8 other risk perception variables.

Conclusion: The identification of stigma among already stigmatized populations supports the need for targeted educational interventions, especially at Hispanic-serving institutions with colleges and schools of pharmacy. Additional research should be conducted to explore the generalizability of these results and measure the impact of cultural beliefs and practices on stigma and risk perceptions across institutions with predominantly Hispanic/Latinx students.

Medical Subject Headings

Humans; Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome; HIV Infections; Cross-Sectional Studies; Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice; Education, Pharmacy; Students; Social Stigma; Pharmacy; Hispanic or Latino; Students, Pharmacy

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ePub ahead of print





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