The synergy between tuberculosis (TB) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) co-infection on perceived stigma is not well studied. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of TB/HIV co-infection on perceived stigma in selected hospitals of Oromiya region, Ethiopia. A cross sectional study was conducted from February to April, 2009 in Adama, Nekemet and Jimma Specialized hospitals. Data were collected by trained HIV counselors. A structured questionnaire which consisted of socio-demographic variables, clinical information, perceived stigma, and depression was used to collect the data
A total of 591 participants were included in the study of whom 124 (20.9%) were co-infected with TB/HIV. The stigma items were highly reliable (Cronbach's alpha = 0.93) and had strong inter dimension correlation. Respondents who were co-infected with TB and HIV were more likely to have perceived stigma compared to non-co-infected HIV patients, [OR = 1.4, (95% CI: 1.2, 2.0)]. Non-literate individuals [OR = 1.9, (95% CI: 1.2, 3.0)] and females [OR = 1.6, (95% CI: 1.2, 2.3)] had also more perceived stigma.
TB/HIV co-infected patients, non-literate individuals and females were more likely to have high perceived stigma. Behavioral Change Communication should focus on these segments of the population to rectify the high perceived stigma.