Goals are an important component of quality of life (QoL) as they provide motivation to accomplish tasks we strive to achieve. Stigma has been identified as a factor that may be deleterious to achieving personal goals. People living with HIV(PLWH) continue to face HIV-related stigma. As HIV prevalence continues to grow in the U.S., it is important to focus on factors that can help improve the health and QoL of PLWH. This study aims to examine the association between HIV-related stigma and goal-setting behaviors among PLWH in Florida.
We used baseline data collected from the Marijuana and Potential Long-term Effects (MAPLE) observational cohort study. We collected life goals data using an abbreviated version of the Personal Projects Analysis inventory. Participants listed up to three goals in five domains and were asked about each goal’s difficulty and importance. HIV-related stigma was measured using an abbreviated version of the Herek HIV-related stigma scale. Relative risk estimates and 95% confidence intervals were estimated using multivariate linear regression models.
The overall sample (n = 232) was majority male (52.4%), Black (72.4%), and non-Latino (84.9%). HIV-related stigma was positively associated with the total number of listed goals (β = 0.042[0.003, 0.082]; p = 0.037) and perceived goal difficulty (β = 0.010[0.003, 0.017]; p = 0.004), but not significantly associated with perceived goal importance (β = 0.001[− 0.002, 0.004]; p = 0.562).
The results suggest that HIV-related stigma may be affecting the pursuit of goals among PLWH. There is a need to develop and evaluate QoL interventions that are tailored to PLWH and focused on achieving goals in the face of HIV-related stigma.