212117 A Qualitiative Analysis of HIV/AIDS and African American women

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ndidi Amutah, MPH , School of Public Health, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
HIV/AIDS is a major cause of morbidity and mortality among black women in the United States. In addition, the life experience of African American women living with HIV/AIDS is an area in which insufficient research exists in general. A study by Whitmore et al. (2005) reported that black women are increasingly affected by HIV, and despite prevention efforts and advances in HIV treatment, black women are more likely to become infected with HIV or to die of AIDS than are women of other races/ethnicities. Black women are more likely to face the challenges associated with risk for HIV infection, which include poverty, at-risk partners such as men who are bisexual, or injection drug users. Through the use of observations, in-depth interviews and qualitative research, I delved more into the issues in this population and learned from 2 community-based staff and 10 clients the situations that arise in regards to primary care, housing, transportation, and childcare, among others. Barriers to use of health services for women include lack of insurance, current injection drug use, and difficulty remembering appointment. The observed higher morbidity and mortality rates for HIV and AIDS in women of color were likely attributable mainly to differences in socioeconomic resources, exposure to violence and exposure to risky sexual behaviors. The literature captures their social needs such as housing, transportation, and childcare, but I wanted to examine the individual and community level factors that prevent women from accessing resources for themselves.

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the myriad of issues that affect African American and HIV/AIDS. Identify health disparities that disproportionately affect African American women. Evaluate the results of a qualitative study conducted with HIV positive women.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a doctoral student in Maternal and Child Health and I have conducted research in the area of HIV/AIDS and AFrican American women.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.