HIV/AIDS stigma and beliefs about HIV transmission among Israeli Jews and Arabs: an exploratory study

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Although HIV/AIDS incidence in Israel is lower than in most Western countries, HIV/AIDS burden in Israel is on the rise. The Arabs are the largest ethnic minority in Israel. Medical experts in Israel believe that HIV infection rates among Israeli Arabs are underestimated. Moreover, unofficial data suggest that Arabs are significantly less likely than Jews to be tested for HIV and that Arabs are typically diagnosed at a late stage of their disease. Since data concerning the levels of HIV/AIDS stigma and knowledge can inform policy, this exploratory study compares the extent of HIV/AIDS stigma and beliefs about HIV transmission of Jews to those of Arabs. A convenience sample of 183 Israelis was drawn (135 Jews, 48 Arabs). Data were collected via a computerized, open-ended, self-report questionnaire. The main findings revealed that compared to Jews, Arabs reported more misinformation about HIV transmission. Arabs differed from Jews in key manifestations of stigma (support for coercive policies, attribution of blame and responsibility, anger and fear), but not others (avoidance intentions and discomfort). Arabs scored higher on the Summary Index of Stigma, than did Jews. These preliminary findings indicate a need to design culturally-specific interventions to enhance HIV transmission-related knowledge and to debunk stigma among Israeli Arabs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychology, Health and Medicine
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • HIV/AIDS stigma
  • Israeli Jews and Arabs
  • beliefs about HIV transmission
  • exploratory study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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