Article Correctness Is Author's Responsibility: Enacted HIV-related stigma and breast-health beliefs and practices among African American women living with HIV: The mediating roles of internalized HIV-related stigma and depressive symptoms.

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Reducing HIV-related stigma among African American women living with HIV is a priority to improve HIV-specific health outcomes, but may also impact other health beliefs and practices. Testing this hypothesis is important because African American women experience worse health outcomes relative to non-Latino Whites, including for breast cancer. During this study, we examined the relationship between enacted HIV-related stigma and breast-health beliefs and practices and the mediating effects of depressive symptoms and internalized HIV-related stigma. We used baseline data from a stigma-reduction intervention trial for adult African American women living with HIV in Chicago, Illinois and Birmingham, Alabama (N = 237). Data were collected using computer-assisted self-interviewing software. After adjusting for covariates, enacted HIV-related stigma was associated with greater perceived threat of breast cancer, specifically in terms of breast-cancer fear (p < .0001), but not regular breast health-care engagement (p = .17). Internalized HIV-related stigma and depressive symptoms were associated with enacted HIV-related stigma, perceived threat of breast cancer, and regular breast health-care engagement (all ps < .05). Internalized HIV-related stigma mediated the relationship between enacted HIV-related stigma and perceived threat of breast cancer (p = .001); depressive symptoms did not (p = .84). We provide evidence concerning broader influences of internalized HIV-related stigma for the health of African American women living with HIV. Future studies should include consideration of the impact of HIV stigma on other health beliefs and behaviors. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)