239174 HIV/AIDS and African American Women: A Qualitative study in Washington DC

Monday, October 31, 2011

Ndidi Amutah, PhD, MPH, CHES , School of Community Health and Policy, W.K. Kellogg Foundation Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD
Background: Women living with HIV or AIDS often face complex social problems that may inhibit them from accessing resources and healthcare services to assist them in coping with the disease. Methods: In-depth interviews and participatory observation were conducted at an HIV service provider's office to determine the unique needs of HIV positive women of color in Washington, DC. Through the use of observations, in-depth interviews and qualitative research, I delved more into the issues in this population and learned from (n=2) community-based staff and (n=10) women the situations that arise in regards to primary care, housing, transportation, and childcare, among others. The data was analyzed using ATLAS.ti.5.2, and was coded according to major themes that emerged from the focus group discussions and individual interviews. Results: 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. Conclusions Research findings suggest that there are potentially negative consequences of being in social relationships in which stigma and embarassment inhibit women from taking their medications in the presence of others. Women who have not disclosed their HIV status to their families or friends may find it difficult to adhere to HIV medication regimens while in the presence of family members, or even in the privacy of their own homes.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related research
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the social service and health issues facing HIV positive women of color in Washington DC. Describe the stressors that affect adherence to medication and the barriers experienced by the women. Explain resiliency and potential mechanisms to intervene in the lifecourse of women with HIV.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Women and HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted this research study during my PhD program.
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.