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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Listening to womenís voices: Needs and worries among a group of HIV positive women in Soweto, South Africa and their patterns of HIV positive serostatus disclosure

Jeanne Miriam Moseley, MPH, HIV Surveillance and Epidemiology Program, Program Evaluation and Training Unit, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 346 Broadway, Room 701, CN-44, New York, NY 10013, 212-442-3476, jmoseley@health.nyc.gov and Jennifer S. Hirsch, PhD, Mailman School of Public Health, Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia Universtiy, 722 West 168th Street, New York, NY 10032.

This qualitative investigation explored the needs and worries of a group of HIV+ women and examined patterns of their serostatus disclosure. In-depth interviews were conducted with 50 postpartum HIV+ women, recruited from support groups and research activities at the Perinatal HIV Research Unit and the Zola Clinic in Soweto, South Africa during 2001. Eligibility criteria were: 1) aware of HIV+ status, 2) 18+, and 3) mother of at least one child. The interviews were transcribed in Zulu or Sotho from audiotapes and translated into English. Matrices were created to organize and thematically analyze data. Women identified jobs (78%), food and/or milk for their infants (50%), and housing (24%) as important needs. Womenís worries included: well-being of children (62%), dying of AIDS (54%), and disclosure of HIV+ status (44%). The majority of women chose to disclose their HIV status to one or more individuals (38/50: 76%) and most of these (34/38: 89%) respondents chose to disclose to their partners. Disclosers were influenced by social support, condom use negotiation with partner, and the desire to explain to others why they were using formula rather than breastfeeding. Reasons for non-disclosure were fear of partnerís reaction and stigma. Based on these findings, we recommend that programs working with HIV+ women strive to: create employment opportunities, provide free formula for six months and food supplementation for women with newborns, initiate further research exploring HIV+ womenís experiences in other parts of South Africa, and identify ways to encourage menís involvement in HIV prevention and support programs.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to

Keywords: International Public Health, Women and HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

From Prevention to Care: HIV/AIDS Issues in High Prevalence Countries

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA