238864 Stigma Reduction: Experiences and Attitudes among Black Women Living with HIV

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 3:30 PM

Deepa Rao, PhD, MA , Department of Global Health, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Judith Singleton, PhD , Department of Anthropology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
Nina Lambert, RN , Division of Infectious Diseases, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL
Susan Cohn, MD, MPH , Division of Infectious Diseases, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported that HIV/AIDS was the leading cause of death for Black women in the U.S. between the ages of 25 and 34. Research has suggested that HIV-related stigma plays a significant role in service utilization, thereby negatively impacting morbidity and mortality rates. Studies have examined internalized stigma among Black women living with HIV, but few studies have investigated stigma reduction in this population. Thus, we set out to examine perspectives on stigma reduction strategies among Black women living with HIV. We conducted 2 focus groups with U.S. born Black women living with HIV seeking treatment at a private hospital in Chicago, Illinois. Participants averaged 45 years of age. Moderators conducted discussions with a semi-structured guide, and investigators thematically coded transcripts and analyzed data using formal qualitative data analysis techniques. Themes that evolved from the discussions were a) family and community support, b) health care workers', friends', and family members' moral judgments, c) trust within social networks, d) misconceptions among members of Black communities, and e) multiple stigmas/racism, particularly within treatment settings. Women agreed that support groups, particularly discussions with other women who had managed similar experiences, had the potential for stigma reduction. Consistent with previous research on stigma reduction strategies, our participants highlighted the importance of social support and group approaches to stigma reduction. Furthermore, the results pointed to the health care and treatment arenas as a target for implementing stigma reduction strategies.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Discuss methods of stigma reduction suggested by black women living with HIV

Keywords: Health Disparities, Women and HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified as a presenter because of my research focus and expertise in the area of stigma reduction.
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.