Since the earliest study about nursing faculty and student attitudes about caring for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) in 1992, there have been less than 20 additional studies reported in the literature. Yet, PLHIV continues to report stigma and experience discrimination. Nursing faculty attitudes are part of the informal curriculum. Negativity about caring for PLHIV can adversely impact student perceptions as well as their care. Current research in this area is essentially non-existent.


To describe the attitudes of the university nursing faculty toward caring for PLHIV; and to identify the relationship between faculty attitudes and explanatory factors such as age, education, religion, nationality, teaching in a clinical setting, years of experience, and university attributes.


This was a multicenter cross-sectional study with nonrandomized electronic purposeful sampling. The Healthcare Provider HIV/AIDS Stigma Scale (HPASS) is a 30-item scale with three subscales: Prejudice, stereotype, and discrimination. The English and Spanish versions of the HPASS exhibit stable psychometric properties for cross-cultural research. The HPASS was delivered to university nursing faculty in six countries across three continents.


A sample of 368 nursing faculty completed the HPASS. The mean composite score was 2.41 (SD = 0.69), six-point scale with lower scores indicating more positive attitudes, with subscale scores: Stereotypes 2.55 (SD = 0.84), discrimination 2.28 (SD = 0.74), and prejudices 2.41 (SD = 0.63). Peruvian faculty had the highest scores while Canadian had the lowest. Significant correlations were observed between attitudes and the three subscales, and between the three subscales and the composite score.


Attitudes of the nursing faculty toward caring for PLHIV were slightly positive to slightly negative depending on the region and country. Knowledge deficiencies about HIV persist, incorrect beliefs are common, and attitudes appear to be influenced by culture. The correlation between subscales justifies continued research to implement targeted interventions. Education about HIV/AIDS can address knowledge deficits while structured interactions with PLHIV can facilitate experiential learning.

Keywords: Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, HIV Infections, Faculty, Nursing, Social Stigma, Social Discrimination, Prejudice, Healthcare Provider HIV/AIDS Stigma Scale, HPASS.
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