• nursing;
  • old patient;
  • south rural China;
  • stigma

Stigma is a common problem among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). However, little is known about HIV/AIDS-related stigma in older PLWHA over the age of 50. This study described the stigma of HIV/AIDS and its factors based on 120 PLWHA aged 50 or older in an area of high HIV prevalence in south rural China. Each participant completed a face-to-face questionnaire that collected information on demographic characteristics, AIDS-related events and experience of HIV/AIDS-related stigma. Finally, only 18.1% reported experiencing external stigma compared with 64.3% feeling internal stigma. Regression analysis indicated that social support and health status were the two variables that were significantly predictive of both external and internal stigma. Whatever, the more support were received from family members by PLWHA, the less external stigma was perceived. Negative marital situation was also related to external stigma. Reducing HIV/AIDS stigma requires a supportive environment, positive attitude and correct knowledge of AIDS. Health workers and policy makers should take practical approaches to reduce prejudice.