HIV stigma remains high globally. Although there is a selection of HIV stigma reduction interventions discussed in the literature,
there is a paucity of research about the effectiveness of these interventions. This study aimed at gaining a deeper understanding of the experiences of people living with HIV (PLWH) and people living close to them from six designated groups during and after having undergone a comprehensive HIV stigma reduction community intervention in both an urban and a rural setting. Attention was focused on their expressed experiences of the workshop and projects executed. A qualitative interpretive
description approach was used. PLWH as participants were selected through purposive voluntary sampling and through
snowball sampling for the people living close to them. Recruitment was from both urban and rural settings in the North West
Province, South Africa. Data collection was via in-depth interviews with 23 PLWH and 60 people living close to them from
specific designated groups. The data were thematically analysed through manual open coding. The results from the urban and
rural settings were pooled, as there were no noteworthy differences in the themes between them. The results indicated that there was an increase in knowledge in all the groups, as well as experiences of enhanced relationships and of being equipped with leadership skills in order to go out into the community and being part of HIV stigma reduction actions. The intervention in its
comprehensive nature was found to have been successful and promising for future use in reducing HIV stigma.