Journal Article

The People Living with HIV (PLHIV) Resilience Scale: Development and validation in three countries in the context of the PLHIV Stigma Index

Supporting resilience among people living with HIV (PLHIV) is crucial to their sustained uptake of HIV services as well as psychological and social wellbeing. However, no measures exist to assess resilience specifically in relation to living with HIV. We developed the PLHIV Resilience Scale and evaluated its performance in surveys with 1207 PLHIV in Cameroon, Senegal and Uganda as part of the PLHIV Stigma Index—the most widely used tool to track stigma and discrimination among PLHIV worldwide. Factor analyses demonstrated satisfactory psychometric properties and reliability (alphas = 0.81–0.92). Levels of resilience (e.g., whether one’s self-respect has been positively, negatively, or not affected by one’s HIV status) varied substantially within and across countries. Higher resilience was associated with less depression in each country (all p < 0.001), and, in Cameroon and Uganda, better self-rated health and less experience of stigma/discrimination (all p < 0.001). The final 10-item PLHIV Resilience Scale can help inform interventions and policies.