Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Dr. Janet Chang


This study explores the relationship between social workers’ perceptions of the HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) /AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) population and the effects on their service delivery. This study used a quantitative online survey with a self-administered questionnaire. Data was collected for 60 social worker participants for this study. Participants were provided a postcard to a link of the questionnaire that surveyed participants’ regarding demographics, general knowledge, knowledge about contracting HIV/AIDS, HIV/AIDS risk, and service delivery. Implications from the correlation coefficients identify a significant negative relationship between stigma and HIV/AIDS knowledge, suggesting that higher levels of stigma were present based on lower levels of HIV/AIDS knowledge. This study found that social workers were comfortable with PLWHA (people living with HIV/AIDS) and that social workers did not have strong levels of stigma towards PLWHA. A significant negative relationship between stigma and service delivery was found indicating that service delivery decreases based on the levels of stigma on behalf of the social worker. The findings of this study suggest further research and examination of social workers’ perception of PLWHA due to underrepresentation of social workers perceived stigma. The study also suggests that social workers need to increase their knowledge about PLWHA and the need for additional cultural competency trainings.