Methodological considerations in the measurement of institutional and structural forms of HIV discrimination

Kit Yee Chan*, D. D. Reidpath

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The systematic measurement of HIV/AIDS-related discrimination is imperative within the current rhetoric that holds discrimination as one of the two 'biggest' barriers to HIV/AIDS pandemic interventions. This paper provides a methodological critique of the UNAIDS (2000b) Protocol for the Identification of Discrimination against People Living with HIV (the Protocol). Specifically, the paper focuses on the Protocol's capacity to accurately identify and measure institutional levels of HIV-related discrimination that allows data that are reliable and comparable across time and contexts. Conceptual issues including the Protocol's objective as an indicator versus a direct measure of discrimination and the role of the Protocol as a tool of research versus a tool of advocacy are explored. Design issues such as the operationalization of discrimination, appropriateness of indicator content, sampling and data collection strategies and issues of scoring are also evaluated. It is hoped that the matters outlined will provide readers with ways of critically reflecting and evaluating the findings of the research papers presented in this Special Issue, as well as pointing to ways of improving research design.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2005


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